(Bloomberg) -- Ray McGuire, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New York before becoming president of Lazard Ltd. last month, said the metropolis’s “best days are ahead” even amid housing challenges and competition by other cities to lure companies away.

“There is no better city, there is no more competitive city, there is no more attractive city,” McGuire said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This is the place that if you want to distinguish your career, if you want to be competitive, if you want to have a future that is a future of leadership, New York City is the place.”

McGuire, 66, joined New York-based Lazard as president in April after spending decades as a top Wall Street investment banker, including time as vice chairman of Citigroup Inc. His responsibilities at Lazard include strengthening relationships with clients and institutions and attracting top talent. In 2020, McGuire ran for mayor of New York, ultimately losing to Eric Adams. 

“I am supporting Eric. He has challenges, many of which were unforeseen. I have confidence we’re going to get through these challenges,” McGuire said, noting that more affordable housing is needed in the city. “Will we experience headwinds? The answer is yes. But I have every confidence that New York City’s best days are ahead of us.”

Cities in places such as the US Southeast have been working to lure companies away from New York. Miami in particular has been buoyed by an influx of finance-industry office tenants, earning the city the nickname “Wall Street South.”

Earlier this month, Lazard said that Ken Jacobs would step down as chief executive officer in October and be succeeded by Peter Orszag, who heads financial advisory at the firm. The announcement came a month after Lazard unveiled plans to reduce its workforce by 10%. The investment bank’s shares have fallen 17% this year.

--With assistance from Sonali Basak.

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