Bruce Wasserstein, a Wall Street investment banker who helped drive the mergers and acquisitions phenomenon of the early 1980s, died Wednesday at age 61. The chairman and CEO of Lazard had been hospitalized earlier this week for a reported irregular heartbeat, but the cause of death is unknown. Wasserstein began his career as a lawyer, but quickly moved into investment banking. He worked on some of the biggest deals of the past 30 years, such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ takeover of RJR Nabisco, and recently led the team advising Kraft in its efforts to take over Cadbury.
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