Bruce Wasserstein, iconic banker, dies of heart problems at 61

By Branko Brkic 16 October 2009

Whenever there was a major US deal whose ripples would resonate through business geosphere for years, there was a great chance that it was negotiated by Bruce Wasserstein, the CEO of Lazard bank. The deals he put together were as unforgettable as his frenetic pace: Philip Morris's $13 billion bid for Kraft in 1988, KKR's $31 billion buyout of RJR Nabisco in 1989 (immortalised in the book and the movie “Barbarians at the Gate”) and the $15 billion merger of Time and Warner Bros. in 1990. A Harvard graduate with two degrees (law and business), he was also the owner of the hugely influential New York magazine. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated to be $2.2 billion.