Sick ? Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein ? Fat chance. He's just been on a weight-loss programme. Or so he says.
The rumours started in the summer, when a number of bloggers saw that Wasserstein, 58, had shed a few pounds (some said up to 50) and surmised that he might be ill. The rumour had some credibility as Wasserstein's Pulitzer prize-winning playwright sister, Wendy, 55, passed away from lymphoma in January. And his eldest siser, Sandra Wasserstein Meyer, died of breast cancer in 1997, at the age of 60.
Lazard denied that Bruce was poorly at the time, pointing out that the firm would have an obligation to disclose any illness which may affect a key executive like Bruce doing his job. And now Wasserstein himself has commented on the rumours. In an interview with 'Business Week' magazine, Bruce said that 'it's just silly. I'm exactly the same weight as I was 10 years ago. I go through these cycles. I am trying to be fit'.
In the meantime, Bruce, never one thought of for his modesty, delivered a couple of classics during his 'Business Week' interview:
'People get upset if you deprecate anybody, and I don't want to. But we're (Lazard) sort of in a group by ourselves when it comes to the quality of advice we provide. Quality is not the focus of a lot of our competitors, because having lots of capital is their focus, or lending capital, or whatever it is'. And 'I'm not saying that at Brand X there aren't smart people. But we literally have multiples of the talent of other places'.
Source - Business Week