Blackstone at Age 30
Since its IPO in 2007 and following the global financial crisis, Blackstone largely outpaced its alternative investment firm peers in assets under management, new business launches, profitability, and market capitalization. Under the leadership of Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and CEO, and president and COO Hamilton ("Tony") James, Blackstone's growth derived from substantial horizontal expansion into new alternative asset products and services, both organically and through acquisition. These included businesses in private equity, real estate, funds of hedge funds, alternative credit, opportunistic transactions ("Tactical Opportunities"), and secondaries investments. The firm has also innovated in sourcing capital from a variety of limited partners. Blackstone's culture of centralized investment processes and risk management coupled with entrepreneurial leadership contributed to its growth in important ways, but the firm faces important external and internal challenges as it seeks to continue its growth.