Stephen Schwarzman says that Blackstone is not done growing
Can the boss of the world’s biggest buy-out firm make it bigger while keeping it profitable?
When buy-out firms first came to prominence in the 1980s, they were seen as wolves in fine Italian wool. Private-equity (PE) companies won a reputation for devouring companies, which they loaded with debt, stripped of assets and rid of workers. All to make a killing for their millionaire investors—and themselves.
In the past 30 years the industry has softened its image while maintaining a red-bloodedly capitalist devotion to returns. PE firms have diversified into a wider array of assets, from commercial property to corporate debt; anything not traded in public markets is fair game. They have also grown a bit cuddlier, collaborating with their targets rather than consuming them—and considerably bigger.
None more so than Blackstone, the world’s largest “alternative asset manager”, as it now calls itself. It manages $512bn
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