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Blackstone CEO Schwarzman took home $610.5 million in 2020

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Chibuike Oguh
·3 min read
Stephen Schwarzman, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, speaks during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City
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By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) - Blackstone Group Inc Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman pocketed at least $610.5 million in 2020 from dividends and compensation, more than any other private equity executive and up 20% from last year despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory filings showed.

The majority of the windfall stemmed from Schwarzman's 19.3% stake in Blackstone. Its distributable earnings jumped 16% year-over-year in 2020 as the world's largest manager of alternative assets such as real estate and private equity capitalized on the capital market's rally following the Federal Reserve's moves to support the U.S. economy during the pandemic.

Schwarzman, 74, received $86.4 million in compensation and $524.1 million in dividends from his Blackstone shares, a regulatory filing showed on Friday. His net worth is currently pegged by Forbes at $22.3 billion.

Blackstone President Jonathan Gray, Schwarzman's No. 2, took home at least $216.1 million in 2020, consisting of $123.2 million in compensation and $92.8 million in dividends from the company's shares he owns, the filing showed. Gray, 51, has a net worth of $4.5 billion, according to Forbes.

"Executive compensation at Blackstone is directly tied to investor and shareholder performance," a Blackstone spokesman said in a statement, adding that most of it reflected realized performance fees from investments and long-dated stock grants.

Apollo Global Management Inc Chairman Leon Black, who agreed to relinquish his role as the company's CEO by July following an investigation of his ties to late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, collected at least $185.2 million in 2020, another regulatory filing showed.

Black, 69, received $423,687 in compensation, $182.3 million in dividends from his Apollo shares and $2.5 million from his personal investments in the firm's funds. His net worth is pegged at $8.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Marc Rowan, Apollo's incoming CEO, pocketed at least $92.6 million, comprising $72.3 million in dividends and $20.3 million in distributions from his fund investments. Rowan's compensation as an Apollo co-founder and senior managing director was not reported. He is estimated by Forbes to be worth $3.9 billion.

KKR & Co Inc co-founders and co-Chief Executives Henry Kravis and George Roberts collected at least $81.3 million and $85.4 million respectively, primarily from their holdings in the firm, a regulatory filing showed.

Kravis, 77, received $42 million in compensation and $39.3 million in dividends from his KKR shares, while Roberts, also 77, took home $42 million in compensation and $85.4 million in dividends from his KKR shares. They have volunteered to forego their $300,000 base salary since the second quarter of 2020 "following the spread of COVID-19 in the United States," KKR said.

Kravis is worth $7.2 billion and his cousin, Roberts, is worth $7.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Washington, D.C-based Carlyle Group Inc has not yet filed regulatory reports containing information on the compensation and dividends of its chief executive, Kewsong Lee, and its founders David Rubenstein, William Conway and Daniel D'Aniello.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)