Lazard Ltd’s CEO Bruce Wasserstein has died at the age of 61, a spokeswoman for Lazard has confirmed. Wasserstein, who became chairman and CEO of the firm in May 2005, was hospitalized on October 11st due to an irregular heartbeat.
He was regarded as one of the prominent dealmakers in the industry. One of Wasserstein’s most high-profile deals was Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, which was the subject of the book (and later, the film) “Barbarians at the Gate.”
Before working at Lazard, Wasserstein served as co-head of investment banking at First Boston and worked as a lawyer for Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Wasserstein attended Harvard Business School and possessed a law degree from Harvard Law School. In addition to serving as chairman of the private merchant bank Wasserstein & Co., he owned New York magazine and served as its chairman.
--Posted by Stephanie R. Myers, Vault staff writer