Blackstone chief executive Steve Schwarzman earns record $1.27bn in 2022

The investing titan continues building his fortune into one of the world’s largest and reaped $1 billion in dividends last year

Stephen "Steve" Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP, speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Stephen Schwarzman
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Blackstone chief executive Steve Schwarzman took home a record $1.27 billion for 2022, as the investing titan continued building his fortune into one of the world’s largest.

Mr Schwarzman, who owns some 20 per cent of Blackstone shares, reaped roughly $1 billion in dividends alone. He also earned $253.1 million in compensation, most of it through incentive fees and his cut of fund profits known as carried interest.

The annual haul, up from about $1.1 billion a year earlier, underscores Mr Schwarzman’s status as one of Wall Street’s highest earners — with a net worth of $30.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It also demonstrates how tightly his fortune is tied to the firm he co-founded more than three decades ago.

“I own a lot of stock, and I invest in all of our funds, so the firm is my family office,” Mr Schwarzman, 76, said at an industry conference this year.

His heir apparent as chief executive, Blackstone President Jon Gray, collected $479.2 million in 2022. That included $182.7 million from dividends tied to a roughly 3 per cent stake in the firm.

Although neither is paid an annual cash bonus, they still collect more than the chief executives of Wall Street’s biggest investment banks, where compensation packages for the top brass usually tally into the tens of millions.

Blackstone’s fundraising machine slowed last year, and market swings hampered new deals. A crown jewel property fund for wealthy investors, the Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, faced a line of investors wanting out, prompting it to limit redemptions.

Signage is seen outside The Blackstone Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York. Reuters

Still, Blackstone’s dealmakers were able to generate more from selling out of deals last year than in 2021. Sales of plum holdings, such as The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, lifted profits available to shareholders. The firm cranked out more fee-related earnings as assets under management reached just shy of $1 trillion.

“Blackstone has a performance-driven compensation model that is built on long-term alignment with our investors,” a spokesman said. The firm delivered record distributable earnings and realised some of its most profitable fund investments, he said.

The dividend for 2022 rose to $4.40, up from $4.09 a year earlier.

Last year, Blackstone’s shares delivered total losses of 40 per cent, when accounting for dividends. By contrast, the S&P 500 delivered 18 per cent total losses. The stock has since generated some 21.2 per cent in total returns this year, outpacing the S&P.

Updated: February 25, 2023, 8:14 AM