Way Too Hot to Hold

A Wall Street firm is rocked by the defection of its biggest stars

Like baseball teams and ballet troupes, Wall Street investment firms are built around stars. Well known and well paid, cosseted and coddled, the stars eventually become almost synonymous with the institutions that employ them. Nowhere was this more true than at the elite investment firm of First Boston, where the duo of Bruce Wasserstein and Joseph Perella created a mecca for merger-and-acquisit ion advice. Owing largely to their prestige, First Boston was the busiest takeover player on Wall Street last year, handling an estimated 174 deals. Serving as masterminds in some of the biggest corporate struggles of the decade, the two...

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