Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Stephen Schwarzman,

by Derek Loosvelt | February 11, 2008

The current issue of the New Yorker includes James B. Stewart's 10,500-word profile of the controversial co-founder and chief of the Blackstone Group, the prestigious, New York-based private equity and investment banking firm that last year went public in one of the more anticipated initial public offerings of the past few years.

Prior to the firm's IPO, Schwarzman was a frequent media target as a result of his lavish spending habits not quite matching up with his philanthropic efforts.  After the IPO, given an approximate $650-million boost to his liquid wealth, Schwarzman became an even hotter target for members of the media, which have pointed out, on several occasions, the number, size and going prices for his numerous homes, along with his dubious charitable contributions.

In his profile, Stewart follows suit, splashing across the page details of homes in the Hamptons, Jamaica, Saint-Tropez, Florida and Manhattan.  But granted up-close and personal access to one of the richest men in America, he goes further than most have previously, offering Schwarzman's recollections of his rise from middle class suburbia to 60-floors above Park Avenue, among other, less-publicized details.

For college age, would-be private equity investors, there are several details in the profile to note, such as Schwartzman's undergraduate major (intensive culture and behavior) and the college subject that perhaps had the most impact on his future in the investment world (classical music).

Other, lesser known details about the man the media loves to hate include the pill he's ingested every day for the past 15 years.  Stewart writes, "At forty-six, [Schwarzman] was found to have a rare blood-protein deficiency that put him at risk of a blood clot or embolism, a condition that had killed his grandfather at the same age.  He is tested every few weeks and takes a pill each day, which he says should help guarantee him a normal life span.  Still, 'it’s a reminder that life is fleeting,' he said. 'Every day should be a good day.  People fool themselves that they’ll be here forever.  I get a daily wake-up call that that’s not true.  We have limited time, and we have to maximize it.'"

Filed Under: Finance


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