|Bid||52.92 x 1400|
|Ask||52.96 x 1000|
|Day's Range||52.03 - 53.25|
|52 Week Range||26.88 - 55.17|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.57|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||36.50|
|Earnings Date||Oct 16, 2019 - Oct 21, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.92 (3.63%)|
|1y Target Est||52.25|
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, former leader of President Trump's Strategic and Policy forum group, sat down with Yahoo Finance's Julia La Roche to discuss his time with the group and his thoughts on the economy. Adam Shapiro, Julie Hyman, Rick Newman, and Equiteq CEO David Jorgenson listen in.
Stephen Schwarzman shares his life lessons in building Blackstone Group into one of the world's most successful investment firms.
(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone-backed real estate investment trust’s successful India trading debut has left global funds including Japan’s NikkoAM-StraitsTrading Asia wanting a piece of the action.Eastspring Investments, North Carolina Fund, and Sentry Global are among names looking to invest in the instrument that bets on India’s rent-yielding real estate, said Shobhit Agarwal, managing director at Anarock Capital.Blackstone Group LP-backed Embassy Office Parks REIT, the first such issuance in India, has soared about 35% since its debut in March, enticing more investors for similar instruments and providing India’s cash-starved property firms a new fundraising tool. The performance has beaten indexes that track REITs in Singapore and the local BSE Realty Index of 10 developers.India can raise $25 billion through REITs over the next three years listing around 150 million square feet of rent-yielding office properties, according to Anarock.Meanwhile, Blackstone along with an Indian partner K Raheja Corp. may look at listing a second REIT, Bloomberg Quint reported this month. The instrument offers a fixed return from a pool of rent-yielding assets, along with the prospect of capital appreciation.Bengaluru-based Prestige Group is also likely to list its first commercial office REIT soon, Agarwal said. Others that are likely to consider listing REITs include Bengaluru-based RMZ Corp, Mumbai-based Godrej Properties and Pune-based Panchshil Realty.(Corrects company name in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Dhwani Pandya in Mumbai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anto Antony, Ravil ShirodkarFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Steve Schwarzman has doubts. So does Larry Ellison.And so, too, do the growing numbers of Wall Street bankers and investors who are all anxiously awaiting the next move by WeWork and its brash co-founder, Adam Neumann.Neumann was a no-show this week for a long-planned appearance at a SoftBank Group Corp. three-day retreat in Pasadena, California, according to people familiar with the the matter, a further sign that company executives are hunkering down. Once the WeWork initial public offering was postponed late Monday, organizers knew Neumann’s presence would be iffy, the people said. His planned appearance was rescheduled from the first day of the event at the Langham hotel to the last and then canceled altogether.In short order Neumann’s office-sharing company has gone from a get-rich story to a you’ve-got-to-be-joking melodrama -- from WeWork to WeWait to, now, WeWorry.It was a brutal week. First, WeWork’s parent company, We Co., finally conceded that its grandiose plans for going public would have to wait.Then Schwarzman, one of the most powerful figures on Wall Street, threw shade on the company’s hoped-for valuation, which has already collapsed from upwards of $60 billion to $15 billion -- or lower.“I sort of went, what? How do you get this?” Schwarzman, the head of private equity giant Blackstone Group Inc., said of the early numbers Wednesday at a luncheon in New York. Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp., went further, according to Barron’s. He told a group of entrepreneurs at his San Francisco home that day that WeWork is “almost worthless.”And it only gets worse. In London, two deals for major office buildings that are largely leased out to WeWork started to fray. Back in its hometown of New York, the company made a small round of job cuts. And the Wall Street Journal, examining WeWork’s over-the-top culture, reported that Neumann and his friends smoked marijuana on a private jet en route to Israel last summer -- and left a chunk of the drug behind, spurring the plane’s owner to summon it back.If all that weren’t enough, Neumann’s own bankers were getting antsy: They were looking to revise a $500 million credit line secured by WeWork stock -- an acknowledgment that those shares appear far less solid than they used to.New RisksAnd, by Friday, Wendy Silverstein, a big name in New York commercial real estate who joined WeWork last year as head of its property investment arm, had left the company. She’s spending time caring for her elderly parents.Even the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston was adding to the angst. In a speech Friday in New York, Eric Rosengren warned that the proliferation of co-working spaces might pose new risks to financial stability.A WeWork representative declined to comment on Neumann’s canceled appearance at the SoftBank conference, citing the pre-IPO quiet period. SoftBank also declined to comment.Rarely has so much gone so wrong so fast for a young company in the spotlight. Neumann has begrudgingly agreed to cede some of his powers. The question now: Will that be enough?“I’ve never seen a company of this size and scale generate such a consensus of negative opinion in my long, long life of following IPOs,” said Len Sherman, a Columbia Business School adjunct professor whose 30-year business career included time as a senior partner at consulting firm Accenture Plc. “There is no box that they haven’t ticked when you think of all the reasons that you might be very concerned -- like blaring red lights. Like, oh my gosh, caution, danger, danger.”WeWork now hopes to go public next month. But even that may be optimistic. Neumann, also We Co.’s chief executive officer, has to persuade investors that his company -- which has raised more than $12 billion since its founding and never turned a nickel of profit -- is worth billions on the stock market.Deadline LoomsTime is short. WeWork must complete its IPO before the end of the year to keep access to a crucial $6 billion loan.The company’s $669 million of bonds due in 2025 have dropped 5 cents this week to 97.75 cents on the dollar as of Thursday, according to the Trace bond-price reporting system.A few hours after the Journal story hit Wednesday, investors at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in New York heard from Snap Inc.’s Evan Spiegel -- Neumann’s predecessor as a celebrated startup founder whose behavior and company control attracted unflattering attention as the unicorn went public in 2017.He was asked what advice he’d give to founders looking to become CEOs of companies that have to answer to shareholders. His answer:“Don’t go public.”(Updates with CEO’s canceled appearance in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gillian Tan, Matthew Boesler and Sarah McBride.To contact the reporters on this story: Ellen Huet in San Francisco at email@example.com;Scott Deveau in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gwen Everett in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org, David Gillen, Daniel TaubFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") assigned a B2 rating to AVSC's Holding Corp.'s ("AVSC," dba "PSAV") proposed $430 million first lien senior secured term loan due 2026 in connection with the company's pending acquisition of Encore Event Technologies, LLC ("Encore"), a leading provider in the audiovisual and event experiences industry. Concurrently, Moody's affirmed PSAV's B3 Corporate Family Rating (CFR), B3-PD probability of Default Rating (PDR), the B2 ratings on its existing first lien credit facility, consisting of a $1.255 billion senior secured term loan due 2025 and a $100 million senior secured revolving credit facility (to be upsized to $135 million) due 2023, and the Caa2 rating on the company's $210 million second lien senior secured term loan due 2025.
(Bloomberg) -- Tortoise, which holds a 9.5% stake in Tallgrass Energy LP, is urging independent directors to seek a higher offer from Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, according to a person familiar with the matter.A conflicts committee made up of independent members of Tallgrass’ board is reviewing Blackstone’s offer to take the company private at a price of $19.50 for all outstanding Class A shares. Despite representing a 36% premium, the bid is attracting criticism because it followed a roughly 40% drop between Blackstone’s March move to take control and the offer announcement late last month.Tortoise is seeking a sweetened bid that would represent a slight discount to what Blackstone paid for its original stake in March, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is not public.Representatives for Blackstone and Tortoise declined to comment. Tallgrass did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Side LettersIn agreements struck alongside Blackstone’s March deal, senior Tallgrass executives including Chief Executive Officer Dave Dehaemers were guaranteed $26.25 per share should Blackstone decide to take the rest of the company private.Those side letters garnered criticism from analysts including Morningstar Inc.’s Stephen Ellis, who said the provisions represent “a poor example of corporate governance.” Tallgrass has said that the arrangements “provide an incentive to management to retain their investment in the company and thereby ensure continued alignment between management and TGE’s equity holders.”Tallgrass has been trading above the $19.50 offer, which in some instances signals expectations of a sweetened bid. In this case, however, it may also reflect shareholders’ expectation of another 54-cent dividend. Shares were up less than 1% at $20.01 at 12:15 p.m. in New York.Pushing for an improved offer may be tricky, as Blackstone not only holds a major chunk of the Tallgrass Class A shares but also controls its general partner. Though a handful of analysts have said investors could seek a sweetener, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said worries over Tallgrass’ ability to recontract two major pipeline projects mean the proposed deal comes at “a notably attractive valuation for existing shareholders.”To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Adams-Heard in Houston at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Carroll, Christine BuurmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Making progress with an agreement to shed stake in three retail properties in Asia, Taubman Centers (TCO) completes 50% interest sale in Starfield Hanam, in South Korea.
When Stephen Schwarzman originally proposed lunch, he suggested two venues: Claridge’s or St Tropez. A rendezvous on the Côte d’Azur, where Schwarzman enjoys one of his many palatial residences, was always a tad risky for a man who loves to control the situation. Encounters with Schwarzman are rarely dull.
Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe, a unit of U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group , agreed to buy five hotels in Greece from Louis Group in a deal valued at 178.6 million euros ($197 million), the firm said on Friday. Under the deal, Louis group will continue to operate the hotels under the management of HIP, a firm acquired by Blackstone real estate funds in 2017. Blackstone Group this month raised the largest ever real estate fund, amassing $20.5 billion to be invested in property assets around the world.
(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc. and Apollo Global Management Inc. are interested in bidding for a majority stake in Western Midstream Partners LP being sold by Occidental Petroleum Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.Global Infrastructure Partners and KKR & Co. are also interested, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Apollo is considering investing in the oil and gas pipeline operator through Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition vehicle it backs, the people said.A deal could be reached by the end of this year, they said. Nothing has been finalized and Occidental could opt to keep full ownership of the company, they said.Representatives for Blackstone, Apollo, Global Infrastructure Partners and KKR declined to comment. Representatives for Occidental, Western Midstream and Spartan didn’t respond to requests for comment.Western Midstream fell 1% to $26.54 at 12:09 p.m. in New York trading Thursday, for a market value of $12 billion.Western Midstream, based in the Woodlands, Texas, has more than 15,200 miles of oil and gas pipelines and about six dozen processing and treatment facilities in the Midwestern U.S. and Texas, according to an investor presentation in May.Occidental Petroleum acquired a majority stake in the company via its purchase last month of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which had formed the company to house its pipeline operations. The potential divestiture would help Occidental meet its goal of selling $10 billion to $15 billion in assets over the next two years to pay down debt.(Updates share price in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kevin Crowley.To contact the reporter on this story: Kiel Porter in Chicago at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Monks, Simon CaseyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The stock market is getting an initial public offering of a major buyout firm after a long drought. EQT AB’s listing in Stockholm has genuine scarcity value, but a desired valuation above that of American peer Blackstone Group Inc. demands a leap of faith.EQT has taken many portfolio companies public in its 25-year life, and it knows a recent history of profitable growth helps. The Swedish firm has certainly enjoyed a big expansion lately. It has raised 34 billion euros ($38 billion) from investment clients since the beginning of 2015, 80% more than it amassed over the preceding 20 years. Half of EQT’s 40 billion euros of assets under management are in just two funds raised in 2018 and earlier this year.This distorts its current financial performance. Private equity firms get their revenue from management charges levied on the funds they’ve raised, and later from performance fees when their investments do well. EQT’s cash-gathering spurt means its income is now dominated by management fees of almost 500 million euros over the past 12 months. That’s more than twice their 2016 level.There’s more to come. A jumbo EQT infrastructure fund that closed in March will make a bigger contribution to revenue in 2020. The firm will soon be ready to do another big round of fundraising. Assume this is between 10 billion euros and 15 billion euros and, with an average management levy of about 1.4%, it could add as much as 210 million euros to annual fee income.But management fees are a function of how much money a firm can raise; performance fees show how effective it is at using those funds. EQT aims broadly to double clients’ money and has done so in the past. If it can do that on the sums amassed in the last four years, shareholders’ slice of the performance fees could be more than 2 billion euros over time.Suppose EQT closes another big fund sometime in 2020 and performance fees tick up slightly. Revenue could then be roughly 700 million euros next year. With a 50% operating margin and 12% tax rate, earnings would be about 310 million euros. The narrow IPO market capitalization range of 5.5 billion euros to 6 billion euros is on that basis 18 to 19 times next full-year earnings.That valuation is a big discount to Swiss peer Partners Group Holding AG, which is warranted given Partners is more diversified, with many small funds invested globally and a 13-year track record on the public markets. EQT is concentrated by fund, strategy and geography.Still, the valuation is a premium to U.S. peers Carlyle Group LP, KKR & Co. and Blackstone, which trade between 11 and 17 times. After a couple more jumbo fundraisings, EQT would actually look cheap. But IPO investors should bear in mind that sustained fundraising success would depend largely on investment performance being delivered — and EQT proving it can replicate its historic returns doing far bigger buyouts than before.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Blackstone Group Inc. and Apollo Global Management Inc. are reportedly interested in bidding for a majority stake in Western Midstream Partners LP.
(Bloomberg) -- Centerbridge Partners is nearing a deal to sell indoor water-park operator Great Wolf Resorts Inc. to Blackstone Group Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.Any transaction would value Great Wolf at at least $2.9 billion, including debt, said one the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Any deal would likely be led by Blackstone’s real estate investment arm, another person said.No transaction has been finalized and talks between the buyout firms could still fall through, the people said.Representatives for Blackstone and Centerbridge declined to comment.New York-based Centerbridge is considering options including a sale for Great Wolf after receiving unsolicited takeover interest, Bloomberg reported in April.Blackstone is familiar with theme park companies, which are benefiting from higher consumer spending on travel and leisure. The firm nearly tripled its money on a seven-year investment in SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. In June, Blackstone agreed to help buy the owner of Legoland theme parks for about $6.1 billion.Centerbridge bought Great Wolf in 2015 from Apollo Global Management Inc. The Chicago-based company now operates 17 resorts, up from 11 at the time of purchase, with two more in development, according to its website.Blackstone has raised $20.5 billion for its ninth real estate, the New York-based alternative asset manager announced last week. That tops the $15.8 billion raised for its predecessor vehicle.(Updates with details about Blackstone’s real estate investment arm in second and final paragraphs.)To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at email@example.com;Kiel Porter in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at email@example.com, ;Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Monks, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The next wave of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects will be “tougher” to bring online, as companies with existing facilities take advantage of lower costs to expand capacity in coming years, the chief executive of Blackstone Energy Partners said on Wednesday. Blackstone CEO David Foley said at the Gastech Energy Conference in Houston that only one or two new startup projects may reach a final investment decision (FID) in the next wave of U.S. LNG export projects. “In terms of liquefaction capacity that gets FID from the U.S., the hit rate will be a lot higher on projects either sponsored by major oil companies or expansions of existing facilities,” Foley said.
(Bloomberg) -- Steve Schwarzman said he was puzzled by the high valuation of WeWork, comparing it to a similar company that Blackstone Group Inc. owned that was “worth a few billion dollars.”Hearing about WeWork’s pre-initial public offering value, Schwarzman said: “I sort of went, what? How do you get this? It doesn’t seem right to me given what they’re doing,” adding that he hasn’t studied WeWork. He didn’t name the company Blackstone owned.Schwarzman, whose firm is among the world’s biggest real estate investors, said WeWork’s business model is tied to the health of the economy. The Blackstone co-founder spoke Wednesday at the Economic Club of New York.“There are other issues in terms of short-term leases, and owning them long-term and that’s all fine unless the world collapses,” he said. “Then it’s not so fine.”WeWork pushed back its much-awaited initial public offering on Tuesday as the company sought more time to allay investor doubts over its governance, slashed valuation and business prospects. In January, SoftBank Group Corp. made its last investment in WeWork, at a valuation of $47 billion. The company was more recently expected to be valued at only about $15 billion.A representative for WeWork declined to comment on Schwarzman’s remarks.In a wide-ranging discussion, Schwarzman also tackled negative interest rates, saying they hinder economic growth and punish consumers.“My strong view is I don’t think it makes any sense whatsoever,” Schwarzman said. “Why would I take my money and pay somebody to take it? It’s hard enough to make it. I really just don’t understand the theory behind negative interest rates.”Negative rates make it difficult for financial institutions to make money and that has broad effects, he said.“If banks have trouble earning money because they don’t have a normal interest rate spread then they can’t accumulate capital so they can’t expand,” he said. “So if they can’t expand, they can’t give credit, extend credit to people and to businesses. So those economies won’t grow at any reasonable amount.”To contact the reporter on this story: Sabrina Willmer in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at firstname.lastname@example.org, Melissa KarshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be as “ambitious” as first hoped for, according to Tony James, the executive vice-chairman at Blackstone Group LP.“I’m still an optimist in a sense,” James said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in Sydney on Wednesday. “My optimism has been tempered a little bit in terms of both the timing and the scope of a deal.”While U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are under domestic pressure from business groups to make a deal, “both are dealing with hardline sectors that mean they can’t make too much in the way of concessions,” James said.“I think there’s a middle ground that they’ll reach,” he said. “I think you can see a lot of signs of thawing. I’m optimistic we’ll get something, I just don’t think it will be as ambitious a deal as we once hoped for.”Read more: China’s Trade Talk Deputies Heading for the U.S. This WeekRead more: Schwarzman Sees Trade Dispute Thawing as Growth SlowsRead more: Nobody Benefits From Trade War With No End in SightSeparately, James said he is worried policymakers may not have enough gas left in the tank to fight a recession.“Almost every economy is using monetary tools to the limit of their capability before we’ve got a severe recession,” he said. “It’s not just monetary policy, the fiscal tool has already been heavily used in an expanding economy. So I do worry about how much gas we have left to fight a real recession.”\--With assistance from Paul Allen and Shery Ahn.To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Vercoe in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Katrina Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edward JohnsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Just two years into starting the Blackstone Group (BX), Stephen A. Schwarzman made a colossal misjudgment that could have ended his investing career.
(Bloomberg) -- Angela Merkel once asked Steve Schwarzman to explain private equity.It was 2006, and a debate was raging across Germany after her vice chancellor called such investors “locusts.”“But I’m a good locust,” Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman and co-founder of Blackstone Group, told her.It’s one of the defining lines of his new book, which arrives just as Schwarzman’s critics are growing more vocal in questioning his ties to President Donald Trump, increasing wealth and mega-philanthropy at MIT, Oxford and Yale.Democrat Elizabeth Warren calls private equity firms “vampires” and wants people like him to pay a wealth tax. Blackstone has been blamed for contributing to, and profiting from, the deforestation of the Amazon. Even in as familiar a place as his 50th Yale reunion, classmate Jim Sleeper heckled Schwarzman for displacing people from their homes, a reference to Blackstone’s buying foreclosed properties after the financial crisis.So a book answering critics would be timely. Schwarzman, 72, defends his firm’s work to Merkel in four paragraphs. The chapters on building and expanding Blackstone, which make up more than half the book, can be seen as an extension of his argument.But on other scores he has chosen not to engage. He doesn’t address the resistance some of his philanthropic projects have met. He avoids mentioning the spoils of his success -- the parties he has thrown, the houses, the vacations in the South of France. Not that he promised to dish: The book is called “What It Takes,” not “What I Got.”As for Trump, he may be upset that his name doesn’t appear in the narrative until page 307 of 354. There, Schwarzman describes the call that brought him to Trump Tower in November 2016, and how he has served the president, for example by helping to arrange Xi Jinping’s visit to Mar-a-Lago in April 2017. But Schwarzman leaves out that two months earlier, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin were guests at his 70th birthday party. Nor does he mention that he stood next to the president in Riyadh to announce Saudi Arabia’s investment of as much as $20 billion in Blackstone’s first infrastructure fund.Schwarzman does go in depth on his appointment to lead a White House policy and strategy forum, and its disbanding when Trump’s remarks on the riots in Charlottesville sparked “fury” and put members of the forum “under pressure.”“Even if we were acting with the best, nonpartisan and patriotic intentions, associating with this president was intolerable to many,” writes Schwarzman, whose net worth is $17.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Apparently, it hasn’t been intolerable to him. As he puts it, “I had learned not only to manage through crises, but also to create them for ourselves and our clients in order to provoke a change in the status quo that creates opportunity.”Explaining TrumpThough he lost his position when the White House forum disbanded, he has continued to serve the country informally. He describes his role in negotiating a revision of Nafta and in trade talks with China. He also fielded calls from people asking for help understanding Trump. Perhaps it was reading Freud while working in the engine room of a ship one summer that gives him the edge.The book is being published by Simon & Schuster, which handled Ray Dalio’s “Principles,” and was written by Philip Delves Broughton with the close oversight of Blackstone’s public relations head and Schwarzman himself going through it line by line. They have produced a self-portrait that casts Schwarzman as pragmatic, not ideological; sensible, not volatile; an entrepreneur through and through -- a risk-taker and a creative thinker; and a man capable of prioritizing family, as when he left Blackstone’s IPO roadshow to go to the hospital where his daughter Zibby had just given birth to twins.The book isn’t about responding to his critics and was in the works for more than 10 years, Schwarzman said in an interview.“What I was trying to do is write things down, so that other people could learn, whether they’re in for-profit or not-for-profit environments, how to do things in a more effective way,” he said. He wants to teach readers “how to grow organizations, and do positive things, and how to help their own careers, how to overall have a more positive society.”The goal, he said, is to transfer knowledge to help people “have an easier run than I had.”25 LessonsHe likes distilling information into advice. Some of his eight tips for interviewing are obvious enough -- “Be on time... Be curious... Avoid discussing divisive political issues unless you are asked” -- but his list of 25 lessons for work and life is a great summary of how he approaches the world. Among his maxims: “Believe in something greater than yourself.” “Never deviate from your sense of right and wrong.” “Make decisions when you are ready, not under pressure.” Given how he describes getting surprised by the rain, he might have added, “Always carry an umbrella.”Thankfully for us, he has a keen sense for the little details that make the book fun to read.He recounts how Merkel raised her hands to imitate a locust and how he did the same. He tells of earning the nickname “Farmer Blackstone” in China, because he promised that the company’s stock price was like a seed that would grow in time. We learn he’s a fan of “Law & Order,” curry for dinner and Tina Turner, whom he met at the Kennedy Center when he was its chairman.There are photos, too -- more than 60 of them -- that show Schwarzman running a 440-yard relay in 1963, in army training in 1970, on the red carpet of the Met Gala, and with Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jimmy Lee and Trump (twice). Sadly, we don’t get to see him with Bailey, Piper and Domino -- his three Jack Russell terriers mentioned on the book’s jacket.Dry-Goods StoreThe thrills hinge on going into the rooms where Schwarzman did his first deals, made key hires like Larry Fink and Tony James, and got on the phone with Hank Paulson and Dick Fuld around September 2008, trying to save Lehman Brothers and global markets.It all began in Philadelphia where his dad inherited and ran a curtains and linens store, and his mom found ways to advance the family, like sailing lessons and moving them to the suburbs.One of Schwarzman’s first ventures was a lawn-mowing business -- with his younger twin brothers doing the actual mowing. It helped give him the money to buy a pair of Adidas spikes for a less-well-off track teammate. “It was a gesture of friendship, but also more than that: Bobby running in a great pair of spikes made all of us look good.”His attention to appearances and status has provided constant motivation. He figured out how to get into Skull and Bones, and how to meet people like Felix Rohatyn and Averell Harriman. He’s so appreciative of the people that have helped him along the way, his acknowledgments section is a whopping 14 pages.Eye for DesignThe important people he knows hopefully will not distract from the book’s important story for our time: Schwarzman’s journey from a middle-class Jewish boy to the Andrew Carnegie of the second Gilded Age. While the toughness he gained from running track in high school and the values instilled by his parents were formative, true to his later investments in higher education, his ascent really started at Yale.His father told him it was a world he knew nothing about, that his son was on his own. It was not an easy transition. Schwarzman didn’t feel he belonged and was unprepared academically. An English professor offered to teach him how to write papers, a kindness he never forgets.From his own experiences, including a stint in Army training where the food and barracks weren’t quite as nice as Yale, Schwarzman understands that being in the right environment can be critical to success. He has taken this lesson to heart many times, quite literally, with his attention to design.When he became a partner at Lehman, he redecorated his office. “I wanted it to be a cocoon against all the psychological stresses of my work, cozy, like a beautiful sitting room or library in an English house. I had the walls painted partly in reddish-maroon, the rest covered in the kind of grass cloth I’d seen at Lee Eastman’s place. I installed a chocolate carpet, chintz chairs and a partners’ desk from the 1890s. It was exquisite. No one else at the firm had ever done this.”When Blackstone bought Claridge’s in London, he put together a panel of society women to vet English decorators for the storied hotel. They rejected the candidates, but one of the ladies proposed a Frenchman. Schwarzman interviewed and hired Thierry Despont himself.Business CardsHe can obsess over getting everything right. When he learned that the Chinese builders of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University wanted to use fake wood and fake bricks, he insisted that local craftsmen make the bricks and the floors exactly to Robert A.M. Stern’s specifications.And of course he’s been involved in the design of Blackstone’s offices, logo and, in 1985, when he and Pete Peterson were just getting started, its business card.“The design we chose is the one we still have: simple, black and white, clean and respectable.”Sounds a lot like the book he just gave us. After all, a book is the ultimate calling card.To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, David Scheer, Peter EichenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman shares how he built his private equity empire The Blackstone Group and became one of the most sought-after CEOs for advice from world leaders.
In his memoir, "What It Takes," Schwarzman writes that the trade talks between the U.S. and China are "some of the most complicated negotiations" that he's experienced.