Stephen A. Schwarzman

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Stephen A. Schwarzman
Chairman of the Strategic and Policy Forum
In office
January 20, 2017 – August 16, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Stephen Allen Schwarzman

(1947-02-14) February 14, 1947 (age 71)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ellen Philips (1971–1990)
Christine Mularchuk Hearst
Children 2 (including Teddy Schwarzman)
1 stepchild
Education Yale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Occupation Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group
Known for CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of The Blackstone Group
Net worth US$12.4 billion (December 2018)[1]

Stephen Allen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former CEO and Chairman of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson. His personal fortune is estimated at $12.4 billion as of December 2018.[1] As of 2017, Forbes ranked Schwarzman at 117th on its World's Billionaires List.[2][1] Schwarzman chaired President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum for 6 months.[3]

Early life and education

Schwarzman was raised in a Jewish family in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, the son of Arline and Joseph Schwarzman.[4][5] His father owned Schwarzman's, a former dry-goods store in Philadelphia, and was a graduate of the Wharton School.[6]

Schwarzman attended the Abington School District in suburban Philadelphia and graduated from Abington Senior High School in 1965.[7] He attended Yale University where he was part of the Skull and Bones secret society with George W. Bush.[8][9] After graduating in 1969, he briefly served in the U.S. Army Reserve before attending Harvard Business School, where he graduated in 1972.[10]

Personal life

Schwarzman met his first wife, Ellen Philips, during his second year at Harvard Business School, where she worked as a researcher and helped grade essays. A graduate and trustee of Northwestern University and the Mount Sinai Medical Center, she is the daughter of Jesse Philips, a wealthy Ohio industrialist.[11] They were married in 1971 and divorced in 1990. They had two children together, one of whom is film producer Teddy Schwarzman.[12][13][14]

Schwarzman married his second wife Christine Hearst in 1995, an intellectual-property lawyer who grew up on Long Island, New York.[13] She has one child from a previous marriage.[15]

He lives in a duplex apartment at 740 Park Avenue previously owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Schwarzman purchased the apartment from Saul Steinberg.[16][17]

Investment career

Schwarzman's first job in financial services was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a now defunct investment bank. After business school, Schwarzman worked at the investment bank Lehman Brothers, and became a managing director at age 31, then head of global mergers and acquisitions.[18] In 1985, Schwarzman and his boss, Peter Peterson, started The Blackstone Group, which originally focused on mergers and acquisitions.[19][20]

When Blackstone went public in June 2007, it revealed in a securities filing that Schwarzman had earned about $398.3 million in fiscal 2006.[21][22] He ultimately received $684 million for the part of his Blackstone stake he sold in the IPO, keeping a stake then worth $9.1 billion.[23]

In June 2007, Schwarzman described his view on financial markets with the statement: "I want war, not a series of skirmishes... I always think about what will kill off the other bidder."[15]

In August 2010, Schwarzman compared the Obama administration's plan to raise the tax rate on carried interest to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939, for which Schwarzman later apologized.[24][25]

In September 2011, Schwarzman was listed as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.[26][27]

Among Blackstone's largest investments in 2009 were SeaWorld Parks. SeaWorld Parks were the focus of the 2013 film Blackfish, a documentary on Killer Whale attacks at these parks and the ethics of keeping them captive. When asked about the film, Schwarzman said on record that SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau should be blamed for her own death, claiming that the veteran animal trainer broke multiple safety rules before she was pulled into a tank and killed by a six-ton orca in February 2010. Blackstone said in a written statement that Schwarzman "misspoke" in response to the question about Blackfish. The firm said its chief executive had not anticipated a question about the film and had not been briefed on the subject. The firm said Schwarzman does not plan to go back on CNBC to correct the record on air.[28][29] SeaWorld, for its part, said unequivocally that Brancheau bore no blame. "Dawn was one of the world's most skilled and experienced marine mammal trainers. Her dedication to safety was among the many reasons she was so respected by her colleagues at SeaWorld and within the worldwide animal training community," the company said in a written statement. "We have never said and do not believe that she was at fault for the events of February 24, 2010."[28][29]

Infrastructure Funds: Blackstone and Saudi Arabia

Blackstone, with "$360 billion in assets", is expanding into infrastructure investments.[30] Blackstone Group joined Saudi Arabia in May 2017 in a $40 billion fund to invest in stateside[clarification needed] infrastructure projects. Saudi Arabia will provide 50% of the fund which could lead to "$100 billion in total infrastructure investments on a leveraged basis".[30]

Political and economic views

Schwarzman is a Republican. He is a long-time friend of President Donald Trump and provides outside counsel, and served as chair of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.[31][3] In response to criticism for his involvement with the Trump administration, Schwarzman penned a letter to current Schwarzman Scholars, arguing that "having influence and providing sound advice is a good thing, even if it attracts criticism or requires some sacrifice."[3]

In early 2016, he said that in a two-candidate race he would prefer Donald Trump to Ted Cruz, saying that the nation needed a "cohesive, healing presidency, not one that's lurching either to the right or to the left."[32] He had previously made a donation to Marco Rubio in 2014. He also endorsed and fundraised for Mitt Romney in 2012.[33]

In 2010, Schwarzman drew controversy for comparing President Obama's proposal to increase taxation on 'carried interest' profits to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939. Schwarzman later apologized for the analogy.[34][35]

He raised $100,000 for George W. Bush.[36]

In late 2016, Schwarzman "helped put together a team of corporate executives to advise Trump on jobs and the economy. The group includes JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Walt Disney (DIS) boss Bob Iger and former GE leader Jack Welch" which became Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.[37][38] In February, Schwarzman was named as Chair of the 16-member President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which brings together "CEOs of America's biggest corporations, banks and investment firms" to consult with the President on "how to create jobs and improve growth for the U.S. economy."[39]

Wealth and philanthropy

plaque in New York City, New York, USA honoring Stephen A. Schwarzman contributions

According to Forbes Magazine, he has a net worth of $12.4 billion as of August 2018.[1] In 2014, Schwarzman was named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year.[40] In 2016, Schwarzman was again named as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential people of the year.[41] In 2004, Schwarzman donated a new football stadium to Abington Senior High School—the Stephen A. Schwarzman Stadium.[42] In 2007, Schwarzman was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.[43]

In early 2008, Schwarzman announced that he contributed $100 million toward the expansion of the New York Public Library, for which he serves as a trustee. The central reference building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue was renamed The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.[44]

In spring 2015, Peter Salovey, the President of Yale University, announced that Schwarzman contributed $150 million to fund a campus center in the university's historic "Commons" dining facility.[45][46] Additionally, Schwarzman is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.[47]

In early 2018, it was announced that Schwarzman gave $25 million to Abington High School, his alma mater. However, this donation was contingent on several conditions, including naming rights to the school. After the public learned about the deal, a new agreement was made and Schwarzman removed several of the conditions for his donation, including renaming the school.[48]

Schwarzman Scholars

On April 21, 2013, Schwarzman announced a $100 million personal gift to establish and endow a scholarship program in China, Schwarzman Scholars, modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship program. Schwarzman simultaneously announced a fundraising campaign with a goal of $200 million. The Schwarzman Scholars program is housed at Tsinghua University, one of China's most prestigious universities. The first class of 100 students graduated in 2017, upon completion of Schwarzman College, designed by Robert A. M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.[49]

MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

Schwarzman made a $350 million gift to MIT for the establishment of the Schwarzman College of Computing, which is the heart of MIT's "new $1 billion commitment to address the global opportunities and challenges presented by the prevalence of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI)." The new college "represents the most significant structural change to MIT since the early 1950s" and is scheduled to open in September 2019, with the construction of a new building for the college scheduled to complete by 2022. The new college will be accompanied by the establishment of a new deanship as well as 50 new faculty positions, half which will be appointed in advance computing in the college, with the other half being joint appointments between the Schwarzman College and the various academic departments across MIT.[50]


Schwarzman has been an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and was chairman of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 2004 to 2010.


  1. ^ a b c d "Stephen Schwarzman". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  2. ^ "Stephen Schwarzman: Blackstone's $10 Billion Man". Forbes. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Nocera, Joe (February 8, 2017). "Steve Schwarzman Explains Why He Counsels Trump". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via Bloomberg.
  4. ^ "Live From New York, It's Steve Schwarzman". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 31-40 - Jewish World - Jerusalem Post". Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "WEDDINGS - Christine Hearst, S. A. Schwarzman". November 5, 1995. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Past Award Recipients". June 24, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Evan Thomas and Daniel Gross, "Taxing the Super Rich," Newsweek, July 23, 2007
  9. ^ Andrew Clark, "The Guardian profile: Stephen Schwarzman," The Guardian, June 15, 2007
  10. ^ "The 25 Most Successful Harvard Business School Graduates". Business Insider. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Ellen Zajac and Teddy Schwarzman". The New York Times. November 11, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Schwarzman in the Spotlight at Library Gala - The New York Sun". June 18, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Toobin, Jeffrey (July 15, 2014). "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Ellen Zajac and Teddy Schwarzman". The New York Times. November 11, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Andrew Clark. "profile: Stephen Schwarzman | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  16. ^ "740 Park | Michael Gross". Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  17. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (July 15, 2014). "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  18. ^ David Carey; John E. Morris (2010). King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone. New York: Crown Business. pp. 13–30.
  19. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 6, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2006.
  20. ^ King of Capital, pp. 45–56
  21. ^ [1] Archived July 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Michael Flaherty, "Blackstone Co-Founders to Get $2.3 Billion Post IPO," Reuters, June 11,
  23. ^ King oReferencesapital, p. 3
  24. ^ Jonathan Alter (August 15, 2010). "Schwarzman: 'It's a War' Between Obama, Wall St". Newsweek.
  25. ^ Neil Brooks; Linda McQuaig (April 1, 2012). "How billionaires destroy democracy".
  26. ^
  28. ^ a b "Blackstone chief blames Brancheau for own death, contradicting Seaworld". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  29. ^ a b "CEO of SeaWorld shareholder suggests trainer was to blame for". January 25, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Gara, Antoine (May 20, 2017). "Blackstone Unveils $40 Billion Infrastructure Mega Fund With Saudi Arabia As President Trump Visits". Forbes. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  31. ^ "Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  32. ^ DiChristopher, Tom (January 20, 2016). "Wall Street CEO: I'd pick Trump over Cruz". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  33. ^ Egan, Matt (April 29, 2015). "Blackstone CEO: GOP field way stronger than 2012's 'Seven Dwarfs'". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  34. ^ Clark, Andrew (August 17, 2010). "Blackstone billionaire is sorry for Nazi jab against Obama's tax policies". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via The Guardian.
  35. ^ Moritz, Michael (February 7, 2017). "Stephen Schwarzman's Bad Business Advice". Retrieved March 29, 2017 – via
  36. ^ "Tycoon finds money can't buy him love". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  37. ^ Dayen, David (May 27, 2017). "Trump's 'America First' Infrastructure Plan: Let Saudi Arabia and Blackstone Take Care of It". The Intercept. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  38. ^ Alesci, Cristina (May 21, 2017). "Blackstone for American infrastructure". CNN. Retrieved June 10, 2017. In late 2016 a
  39. ^ "Trump Taps Steve Schwarzman, Jamie Dimon And Mary Barra For Advice On Job Creation, Growth". Forbes.
  40. ^ "Most Influential 50 Are the Bankers, Investors Who Move Markets". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  41. ^ "Bloomberg's Fifty Most Influential". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  42. ^ Stewart, James B. "The Birthday Party". The New Yorker. Conde Nast. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  43. ^ "Time 100 (2007) – Stephen Schwarzman". Time Magazine. May 3, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
  44. ^ Robin Pogrebin (March 11, 2008). "Stephen Schwarzman - New York Public Library". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  45. ^ "YaleNews | $150 Million Gift by Stephen A. Schwarzman to Establish First-of-its-Kind Campus Center at Yale University". May 11, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  46. ^ "Stephen A Schwarzman Gives $150 Million for Yale Cultural Hub". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  47. ^ "Berggruen Institute".
  48. ^
  49. ^ Julia La Roche (April 21, 2013). "Billionaire Steve Schwarzman Has Donated $100 Million To Start His Own Version Of The Rhodes Scholarship". Business Insider.
  50. ^ "MIT reshapes itself to shape the future". MIT News. October 15th, 2018. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Further reading

  • King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone.
  • Greed and Glory on Wall Street—The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta, The Overlook Press, New York, ISBN 1-58567-088-X

External links

  • Fortune: Wall Street's Hottest Hand Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman has built a powerhouse unlike any other.
  • Schwarzman Scholars
  • Schwarzman feels the agony of victory NYTimes, 2015
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Bloomberg: Q&A With Steve Schwarzman: “There Are No Brave Old People in Finance”
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