Legendary Wall Street dealmaker and Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein died on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Lazard confirmed with Investment Dealers' Digest. He was 61.
Wasserstein was hospitalized over the weekend for an irregular heartbeat. According to a statement issued by the banking firm on Sunday evening, "His condition is serious, but he is stable and recovering."
Wasserstein became chairman and CEO of Lazard in May 2005, when the firm went public. He had been head of Lazard and chairman of the executive committee of the firm's holding company since January 2002. Under the terms of his contract, Wasserstein was to remain at the head of the company until 2012.
Prior to Lazard, Wasserstein co-founded Wasserstein Perella Group in 1988 and served as CEO until the firm was sold to Dresdner Bank in 2001. Before Wasserstein Perella, he was co-head of investment banking at First Boston.
Aside from his Lazard duties, Wasserstein, who would have turned 62 on Dec. 25, was chairman of private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. and owned New York Media Holdings, which publishes New York magazine.
His sister, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, died in January 2006. Another sister, Sandra Meyer, the first woman to run corporate affairs at Citicorp and the first woman to oversee an American Express division, died in December 1997.