updated 10/12/2009 8:52:53 AM ET 2009-10-12T12:52:53

Bruce Wasserstein, a prominent Wall Street dealmaker and CEO of Lazard Ltd., was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat.

Wasserstein is in serious but stable condition and is recovering, the company said in a statement late Sunday.

Wasserstein, 61, has served as head of Lazard since 2002. He took the company public in May 2005 and was named its CEO.

Wasserstein is in the middle of serving a contract that keeps him at the company through 2012.

Lazard has remained relatively strong throughout the economic downturn. Its second-quarter profits fell 18 percent to $28.2 million, or 34 cents per share, but easily surpassed expectations. New York-based Lazard's financial restructuring business has thrived during the downturn, offsetting declines in mergers and acquisitions advisory business.

Aside from his work at Lazard, Wasserstein serves as chairman of Wasserstein & Co., a private merchant bank. He is also a member of the board of directors of Harry & David Holdings Inc.

He has been a fixture on Wall Street since the 1980s, when he helped run First Boston Corp., before co-founding his own investment bank, Wasserstein Perella Group Inc. He was CEO of Wasserstein Perella between 1988 and 2001 before selling it to Germany's Dresdner Bank AG.

Forbes magazine estimated Wasserstein's net worth at $2 billion.

Lazard said it does not plan to provide any further updates on his condition.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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