Stephen A. Schwarzman
|Stephen A. Schwarzman|
|Chairman of the Strategic and Policy Forum|
January 20, 2017 – August 16, 2017
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Born||Stephen Allen Schwarzman|
February 14, 1947
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ellen Philips (1971–1990)|
Christine Mularchuk Hearst
|Education||Yale University (BA)|
Harvard University (MBA)
|Occupation||Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group|
|Known for||Co-Founder of the Blackstone|
|Net worth||US$14.6 billion (October 2018)|
Stephen Allen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American businessman. He is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former CEO and chairman of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson. His personal fortune is estimated at $13.4 billion as of August 2018. As of 2017, Forbes ranked Schwarzman at 113th on its World's Billionaires List. Schwarzman chaired President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.
Early life and education
Schwarzman was raised in a Jewish family in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, the son of Arline and Joseph Schwarzman. His father owned Schwarzman's, a former dry-goods store in Philadelphia, and was a graduate of Wharton Business School.
Schwarzman attended the Abington School District in suburban Philadelphia and graduated from Abington Senior High School in 1965. He attended Yale University during the same period as George W. Bush, one year behind him (both were in the Skull and Bones society) and graduated in 1969. He briefly served in the U.S. Army Reserve before attending business school. He then went on to Harvard Business School and graduated in 1972.
Schwarzman's first job in financial services was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a now-defunct investment bank. After business school, Schwarzman worked at the investment bank Lehman Brothers, and became a managing director at 31, then head of global mergers and acquisitions. In 1985, Schwarzman and his boss Peter Peterson started Blackstone, which originally focused on mergers and acquisitions.
When Blackstone went public in June 2007, it revealed in a securities filing that Schwarzman had earned about $398.3 million in fiscal 2006. He ultimately received $684 million for the part of his Blackstone stake he sold in the IPO, keeping a stake then worth $9.1 billion.
In June 2007, Schwarzman described his view on financial markets with the statement: "I want war, not a series of skirmishes... I always think about what will kill off the other bidder."
Among Blackstone's largest investments in 2009 were SeaWorld Parks. SeaWorld Parks were the focus of the 2013 film Blackfish, a documentary on Killer Whale attacks at these parks and the ethics of keeping them captive. When asked about the film, Schwarzman said on record that SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau should be blamed for her own death, claiming that the veteran animal trainer broke multiple safety rules before she was pulled into a tank and killed by a six-ton orca in February 2010. Blackstone said in a written statement that Schwarzman "misspoke" in response to the question about Blackfish. The firm said its chief executive had not anticipated a question about the film and had not been briefed on the subject. The firm said Schwarzman does not plan to go back on CNBC to correct the record on air. SeaWorld, for its part, said unequivocally that Brancheau bore no blame. "Dawn was one of the world's most skilled and experienced marine mammal trainers. Her dedication to safety was among the many reasons she was so respected by her colleagues at SeaWorld and within the worldwide animal training community," the company said in a written statement. "We have never said and do not believe that she was at fault for the events of February 24, 2010."
Infrastructure Funds: Blackstone and Saudi Arabia
Blackstone, with "$360 billion in assets", is expanding into infrastructure investments. Blackstone Group joined Saudi Arabia in May 2017 in a $40 billion fund to invest in stateside[clarification needed] infrastructure projects. Saudi Arabia will provide 50% of the fund which could lead to "$100 billion in total infrastructure investments on a leveraged basis".
Political and economic views
Schwarzman is a Republican. He is a long-time friend of President Donald Trump and provides outside counsel, and served as chair of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum. In response to criticism for his involvement with the Trump administration, Schwarzman penned a letter to current Schwarzman Scholars, arguing that "having influence and providing sound advice is a good thing, even if it attracts criticism or requires some sacrifice."
In early 2016, he said that in a two-candidate race he would prefer Donald Trump to Ted Cruz, saying that the nation needed a "cohesive, healing presidency, not one that's lurching either to the right or to the left." He had previously made a donation to Marco Rubio in 2014. He also endorsed and fundraised for Mitt Romney in 2012.
In 2010, Schwarzman drew controversy for comparing President Obama's proposal to increase taxation on 'carried interest' profits to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939. Schwarzman later apologized for the analogy.
He raised $100,000 for George W. Bush.
In late 2016, Schwarzman "helped put together a team of corporate executives to advise Trump on jobs and the economy. The group includes JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Walt Disney (DIS) boss Bob Iger and former GE leader Jack Welch" which became Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum. In February, Schwarzman was named as Chair of the 16-member President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which brings together "CEOs of America's biggest corporations, banks and investment firms" to consult with the President on "how to create jobs and improve growth for the U.S. economy."
Wealth and philanthropy
According to Forbes Magazine, he has a net worth of $13.4 billion as of August 2018. In 2014, Schwarzman was named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year. In 2016, Schwarzman was again named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year. In 2004, Schwarzman donated a new football stadium to Abington Senior High School—the Stephen A. Schwarzman Stadium. In 2007, Schwarzman was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.
In early 2008, Schwarzman announced that he contributed $100 million toward the expansion of the New York Public Library, for which he serves as a trustee. The central reference building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue was renamed The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
In spring 2015, Peter Salovey, the President of Yale University, announced that Schwarzman contributed $150 million to fund a campus center in the university's historic "Commons" dining facility. Additionally, Schwarzman is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.
In early 2018, it was announced that Schwarzman gave $25 million to Abington High School, his alma mater. However, this donation was contingent on several conditions, including naming rights to the school. After the public learned about the deal, a new agreement was made and Schwarzman removed several of the conditions for his donation.
On April 21, 2013, Schwarzman announced a $100 million personal gift to establish and endow a scholarship program in China, Schwarzman Scholars, modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship program. Schwarzman simultaneously announced a fundraising campaign with a goal of $200 million. The Schwarzman Scholars program will be housed at Tsinghua University, one of China's most prestigious universities. The first class of 100 students is slated for 2016, upon completion of Schwarzman College, designed by Robert A. M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.
MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing
Schwarzman made a $350 million gift to MIT for the establishment of the Schwarzman College of Computing, which is the heart of MIT's "new $1 billion commitment to address the global opportunities and challenges presented by the prevalence of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI)." The new college "represents the most significant structural change to MIT since the early 1950s" and is scheduled to open in September of 2019, with the construction of a new building for the college scheduled to complete by 2022. The new college will be accompanied by the establishment of a new deanship as well as 50 new faculty positions, half which will be appointed in advance computing in the college, with the other half being joint appointments between the Schwarzman College and the various academic departments across MIT. 
Schwarzman met his first wife, Ellen Philips, during his second year at Harvard Business School, where she worked as a researcher and helped grade essays. She was the daughter of Jesse Philips, a wealthy Ohio industrialist. They were married in 1971 and divorced in 1990. They had two children, one of whom is film producer Teddy Schwarzman.
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In late 2016 a
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