It'll take more than just death to stop legendary Wall Street dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein making money. The Lazard chief's death on Wednesday triggered the vesting of $188 million in stock options, swelling a fortune recently estimated at $2.2 billion and cementing his status as one of the highest-paid bankers in history. Wasserstein was ranked 147th on the latest Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.
Wasserstein—known in the financial world as "Bid 'Em Up Bruce"—was paid $20.8 million a year, millions more than the combined salaries of the four most senior Lazard execs beneath him, the Wall Street Journal notes. Insiders at the investment bank say Wasserstein's replacement will probably come from within the company, with interim chief Steven Golub seen as the likeliest candidate.