Lazard Ltd., the investment bank run by Bruce Wasserstein, has bought the Carnegie, Wylie & Co in Australia, for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement issued in New York, Lazard, which has had a small advisory office here with well-known investment banker Mark Burrows in charge, said it had bought Carnegie Wylie to try and grow in Asia. The statement said the purchase was made with a combination of cash and stock.

The New York-based company said in the statement that “John Wylie, Carnegie Wylie’s co-founder, will oversee the Sydney-based Lazard financial advisory team, while Mark Carnegie, the other co-founder, will run Lazard’s Australian private equity unit.”

Before founding Carnegie Wylie in 2000, Wylie was head of investment banking at Credit Suisse Group’s investment banking unit in Australia. Carnegie was previously a principal consultant for San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman in Australia and Southeast Asia.

The Lazard shares haven’t been the best performers so far this year. They rose 88 US cents in New York overnight to $US37.03 but are still down 22% so far this year (does that mean there’s a lot of upside, and the only way is up?).

So what happens to Mark Burrows? He’s on the Fairfax and Brambles boards but was recruited to Lazard in 2004 to head up the advisory business and be the Australian chairman.

Investment banking is an ego driven business, how big a room will Lazard’s have to hold it in?