Though shaken by the loss of its legendary CEO, Bruce Wasserstein, Lazard still packs some powerful punchers none more so than Antonio Weiss. The 43-year-old ItalianAmerican dual national received two promotions in 2009: in March to global head of mergers and acquisitions and this fall to global head of investment banking, in the reshuffle that followed Wassersteins death. (Named CEO was Kenneth Jacobs, 51, whos been a Lazard deal maker for two decades and sees his role as that of a player-coach.)
In his 16 years at the bank, Weiss has been on the front lines of deal making. For instance, he advised longtime client InBev on its purchase of Anheuser-Busch last year and is now counseling InBev on divestitures. But Weiss has a feel for words as well as for numbers: Hes a publisher of literary journal The Paris Review, where he once apprenticed with famous founder George Plimpton.