Program on Negotiation saddened by the loss of 2007 Great Negotiator, Bruce Wasserstein

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The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School was saddened to learn of the death of Bruce Wasserstein, PON’s 2007 Great Negotiator. The Great Negotiator Award is  given to recognize an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. Wasserstein, Chairman and CEO of  Lazard, an international financial advisory and asset management firm, was honored for being a consummate deal-maker in his profession and for his creativity in the design of complex deals.

Harvard Business School professor James K. Sebenius was Co-Chair of the Program on Negotiation’s Great Negotiator Award Committee that named Bruce Wasserstein the 2007 Great Negotiator. Reflecting today on the death of Bruce Wasserstein and the time he spent at PON, Sebenius remarked:

“Bruce Wasserstein, a graduate of Harvard’s Law and Business Schools, was honored with PON’s 2007 Great Negotiator Award.  For three decades, he was a towering figure in the world of financial dealmaking.   Endlessly innovative with strategies and tactics, Bruce ‘s last great deal was to transform Lazard, a legendary investment banking firm, from private to public ownership and to become its Chairman and CEO.  In so doing, Martin Lipton, the “dean emeritus of the M&A bar in New York,” observed that Wasserstein “took over a dying firm and totally re-energized it.”  At Harvard in 2007, Bruce Wasserstein shared his insights from the Lazard deal, from his tricky purchase of New York Magazine, and from numerous other difficult negotiations that spanned his career.  In a spirited back-and-forth with students and faculty, he challenged much of our thinking in a highly constructive manner.  Along with many students who have since studied the cases and video footage from that Great Negotiator event, I can simply say that we learned a great deal, of great value, from Bruce Wasserstein.”

Guhan Subramanian, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School professor and Co-Chair of PON’s Great Negotiator Award Committee, remarked:

“Bruce Wasserstein was a master of his craft.  Ever since I was a student at Harvard Law School and continuing through my current work, he has contributed generously of his time to help me understand corporate dealmaking.”

For more information on Bruce Wasserstein and the Great Negotiator Award, please click here.

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