Steve Schwarzman is Blackstone’s billion-dollar man

Bloomberg 
Bloomberg 

Summary

  • Blackstone CEO took home a record $1.1 billion in 2021, underscoring the private-equity giant’s growing dominance on Wall Street

Blackstone Inc. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman took home a record $1.1 billion in 2021, underscoring the private-equity giant’s growing dominance on Wall Street.

Dividends on his 19% stake in Blackstone accounted for the biggest chunk of Mr. Schwarzman’s haul, totaling $941.6 million for the year. He also earned $160.3 million in compensation, composed of profits tied to investment performance and a base salary of $350,000, according to a regulatory filing late Friday.

The eye-popping figures, the biggest ever for Mr. Schwarzman, make him one of the highest-paid executives on Wall Street—if not the highest. They are a reflection of how pivotal the past year has been for Blackstone’s business. The firm’s 2021 financial performance broke records by nearly every key measure, with assets under management reaching $880.9 billion by the end of the fourth quarter, as initiatives to reach wealthy individuals and expand its base of insurance clients helped Blackstone further access big new pools of capital.

Including dividends, Blackstone shares have more than doubled since the beginning of 2021 versus a 19% total return for the S&P 500. The firm’s market capitalization now stands at $155 billion, more than four times that of Apollo Global Management Inc.—its closest private-equity peer—and well beyond that of Wall Street heavyweight Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Like its peers, Blackstone took the step in 2019 of converting from a publicly traded partnership to a corporation, a move that has helped propel its performance as more investors own the stock. But the firm has maintained a super-voting share structure even as rivals have abandoned theirs in favor of a one-share, one-vote model. Mr. Schwarzman owns preferred shares that give him substantial control over certain aspects of the business.

Mr. Schwarzman, 75 years old, co-founded Blackstone in 1985 and is worth an estimated $37.3 billion, according to Forbes. While he continues to serve as its CEO, he has delegated much of the day-to-day responsibility of running the firm to Blackstone President Jonathan Gray.

Shares of Blackstone, including dividends, have more than quadrupled since 2018 when Mr. Gray assumed the role from his predecessor, Hamilton “Tony" James. That compares with a 65% total return for the S&P.

Mr. Gray took home $323.8 million in 2021, including $167.2 million in dividends and $156.6 million in investment-gain and other compensation.

Neither he nor Mr. Schwarzman received a cash bonus.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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