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Death of star banker and Lazard boss Wasserstein is mourned on Wall Street

TRIBUTES flooded in yesterday for star investment banker and chairman and chief executive of Lazard, Bruce Wasserstein, who died on Wednesday.<br /><br />The celebrated Wall Street dealmaker was hospitalised on Sunday due to an irregular heartbeat and had been said to be recovering until the news of his death.<br /><br />He worked right up until his last few days, advising Kraft on its $16bn (&pound;10.2bn) bid for Cadbury. <br /><br />Kraft sent its deepest sympathies to Wasserstein&rsquo;s family and friends.<br /><br />&ldquo;He was a trusted adviser and will be missed dearly,&rdquo; it said.<br /><br />In London, Cass Business School professor Scott Moeller said that &ldquo;the combined wisdom of what he had in his head is more that what many firms alone had&rdquo;.<br /><br />Francis Aquila, a lawyer with the law firm Sullivan &amp; Cromwell said he was a &ldquo;true giant in the mergers and acquisitions world&rdquo;, adding &ldquo;it is really hard to think of him not being there any more.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;He was a great tactician,&rdquo; said Felix Rohatyn, a former Lazard executive who knew Wasserstein for four decades. &ldquo;He was extremely smart. He scared people actually.&rdquo;<br /><br />Shares of Lazard closed down 1.1 per cent yesterday at $42.79 in New York, as analysts said that Wasserstein&rsquo;s death left major questions about the direction and leadership of the investment bank he headed.