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Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein in hospital following heart trouble

Bruce Wasserstein, the chairman and chief executive officer of investment bank Lazard, is in hospital after suffering problems with an irregular heartbeat.

A Lazard spokesman said: "His condition is serious, but he is stable and recovering."

But shares in the bank have slipped in Frankfurt following the news of Mr Wasserstein's condition.

They fell $0.28 to $41.58 by 07.23am GMT this morning (October 12th 2009).

He arrived at the Lazard Group as a director in January 2002 before becoming chairman and chief executive officer in May 2005.

Under his stewardship Lazard has increased its market share during the financial crisis and posted higher-than-expected profits for the second quarter of 2009.

The bank has recently become the sixth largest advisor in the world on global mergers and acquisitions.

Before joining Lazard, 61-year-old Mr Wasserstein had been a co-founder of advisory firm Wasserstein, Perella & Co in 1988.

The company was sold to Dresden Bank AG for $1.56 billion at the end of 2000.

By Claire Archer