Stephen A. Schwarzman
|Chairman of the Strategic and Policy Forum|
January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Born||Stephen Allen Schwarzman
February 14, 1947
|Spouse(s)||Ellen Philips (1971–1990)
Christine Mularchuk Hearst
|Education||Yale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
|Known for||Founder of the Blackstone
Stephen Allen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American investor, private equity manager, and philanthropist. He is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former US Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson. His personal fortune is estimated at $10.2 billion as of January 2017. As of 2017, Forbes ranked Schwarzman at 113th on its World's Billionaires List.
Early life and education
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 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 started working at the investment bank Lehman Brothers, where he reached the rank of managing director at age 31. He eventually became the head of Lehman Brothers' global mergers and acquisitions team. 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 selling part of his Blackstone stake in the IPO, keeping a stake then worth $9.1 billion.
Schwarzman has served as an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and was chairman of the board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 2004 to 2010.
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 were SeaWorld Parks, in 2009. 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."
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:
- Elizabeth (born 1976), married in November 2005 to Andrew Curtis Right.
- Edward Frank also known as Teddy (born 1979), married in November 2007 to Ellen Marie Zajac.
In 1995, Schwarzman married Christine Hearst, an intellectual-property lawyer who grew up on Long Island. She was the daughter of Peggie and Peter Mularchuk of Hicksville, New York. Her father was a fireman. She was recently divorced from Austin Hearst, grandson of newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst. Rabbi Bertram Siegel co-officiated along with the Rev. Sam Matarazzo, a Roman Catholic priest. She has one child from a previous marriage.
He lives in a duplex apartment at 740 Park Avenue previously owned by the Mayflower descendent George Brewster and by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Schwarzman purchased the apartment from Saul Steinberg in 2000 for just under $30 million. However, an article in The New Yorker claims that the apartment was purchased for $37 million.
On February 13, 2007, Schwarzman celebrated his 60th birthday at the Armory on Park Avenue. Guests included Colin Powell, Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, Donald Trump, and Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York. The climax of the evening was a half-hour live performance by Rod Stewart, for which he was reportedly paid $1 million. In February, 2017, he had lavish 70th birthday party in Florida, estimated to have cost $5–7 million.
Political and economic views
Schwarzman is a Republican. He is a long-time friend of President Donald Trump and provides outside counsel, and currently chairs 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.
Wealth and philanthropy
According to Forbes Magazine, he has a net worth of $11.2 billion USD as of January 2017. 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.
On March 11, 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.
On May 11, 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.
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. In January 2016, Schwarzman was on the cover of the Shanghai Business Review to share his vision about the Chinese economy against the backdrop of his scholarship. The story was supported by Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and on the International Advisory Board of Schwarzman Scholars.
President Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum
In late 2016, Schwarzman "helped put together a team of corporate executives to advise [President Donald 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." 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".
Infrastructure Funds: Blackstone and Saudi Arabia
Increasingly large investors such as Blackstone, are investing in infrastructure such as airports, public works, and railways. Blackstone with "$360 billion in assets" is expanding into infrastructure investments. The Blackstone Group joined forces with Saudi Arabia in May 2017, establishing a $40 billion infrastructure fund to invest in stateside infrastructure projects. Saudi Arabia will provide 50% of the fund which could lead to "$100 billion in total infrastructure investments on a leveraged basis".
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- [dead link]
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- [dead link]
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- King oReferencesapital, p. 3
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- Billionaire birthday party NYTimes, retrieved February 14, 2017
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- "Berggruen Institute".
- Julia La Roche (April 21, 2013). "Billionaire Steve Schwarzman Has Donated $100 Million To Start His Own Version Of The Rhodes Scholarship". Business Insider.
- Maurits Elen (January 21, 2016). "A Match Made in the Middle Kingdom" (PDF). Shanghai Business Review.
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In late 2016 a
- "Trump Taps Steve Schwarzman, Jamie Dimon And Mary Barra For Advice On Job Creation, Growth". Forbes.
- Gara, Antoine (May 20, 2017). "Blackstone Unveils $40 Billion Infrastructure Mega Fund With Saudi Arabia As President Trump Visits". Forbes. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone.
- Greed and Glory on Wall Street—The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta, The Overlook Press, New York, ISBN 1-58567-088-X