Stephen Schwarzman

Rank 37

Stephen Schwarzman

38B

Investments

New York, New York

United States

  • Blackstone is a combination of its founders' names -- "Schwarz" means black in German and Yiddish, while "Peter" means stone in Greek.
  • His Schwarzman Scholars, inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships, sends students from around the world to a one-year master's program at China's Tsinghua University.
  • The son of a dry goods store owner, Stephen Schwarzman founded private equity firm Blackstone with fellow billionaire Peter Peterson in 1985.
  • Initially a boutique merger-and-acquisition advisory business, Blackstone grew into the world's largest buyout firm, with over $1 trillion in assets.
  • While Peter Peterson (d. 2018) retired shortly after Blackstone's 2007 IPO, Schwarzman still presides over the business as chairman and CEO.
  • Schwarzman got his start on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers; he writes in his 2019 memoir about mistakes by management at that firm.
  • He started his first business, a lawn-mowing operation, at age 14, employing his younger twin brothers to mow while he brought in the clients.