Lazard CEO McFadden Steps Down to Run Against Franken

Lazard CEO McFadden Steps Down to Run Against Franken

Michael McFadden, co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market, recently announced his plan to run for U.S. Senate; David Solomon will now serve as the firm’s sole chief executive.

Michael McFadden has stepped down from his role as co-CEO of Minneapolis-based investment bank Lazard Middle Market in order to focus on his U.S. Senate campaign.

McFadden on Wednesday announced his plan to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken next year, and he is reportedly the first official Republican candidate who has announced his intention to run for the seat. Franken, who narrowly beat Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in 2008 after a recount, is seeking a second term.

After graduating from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, McFadden worked as a marketing representative for IBM before completing law school at Georgetown University Law Center. He then became an associate with New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore before joining Lazard.

McFadden has served as co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market, a subsidiary of global financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard, since 2007 but stepped down from the role this week, a representative of the firm said Thursday. Co-CEO David Solomon will now serve as the firm’s sole chief executive.

In his role at Lazard Middle Market, McFadden initiated and completed mergers and acquisitions for entrepreneurs, private and public companies, and private equity groups.

He announced his candidacy in the following video:

McFadden on Wednesday told reporters that he would not completely self-fund his race but would contribute to his own campaign. A video of McFadden’s speech can be viewed on Minnesota Public Radio’s website here.

McFadden recently served as a source for a Twin Cities Business story about an uptick in activity by private equity firms in the middle market, which often work with investment banks specializing in mergers and acquisitions to find, acquire, or sell portfolio companies. To read the full story, click here.

McFadden is not the only Twin Cities business leader with his eyes set on Washington. Local businessman and hotel founder Jim Graves recently announced plans to run for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District seat. The Democrat was poised to challenge U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, the incumbent, but she made a surprise announcement this week that she will not seek re-election.

Local online news outlet MinnPost, citing predictions from a national Republican strategist, recently published a list of potential Republican candidates who might run in Bachmann’s place.

Sona Mehring in early April announced plans to step down from her role as CEO of Eagan-based CaringBridge in order to join the race for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. But she pulled out of the race less than a month later.