Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman takes home a record $1.27 bn in 2022

Schwarzman, who owns some 20% of Blackstone shares, reaped roughly $1 billion in dividends alone. He also earned $253.1 million in compensation, most of it through incentive fees

Dawn Lim | Bloomberg
Stephen A Schwarzman, Blackstone CEO

Stephen A Schwarzman, Blackstone CEO

Blackstone Inc. Chief Executive Officer 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.
Schwarzman, who owns some 20% 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 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,” Schwarzman, 76, said at an industry conference this year.

His heir apparent as CEO, Blackstone President Jon Gray, collected $479.2 million in 2022. That included $182.7 million from dividends tied to a roughly 3% stake in the firm. That is an increase from the prior year. 
Though neither is paid an annual cash bonus, they still collect more than the CEOs of Wall Street’s biggest investment banks, where compensation packages for the top brass usually tally into the tens of millions. Many bank CEOs took pay cuts in a tough year for financial markets. 

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Indeed, Blackstone lowered Gray’s latest stock bonus, saying it will pay him $30 million for 2022, down from $38 million in the prior year.  
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.  

Still, Blackstone’s dealmakers were able to generate more from selling out of deals in 2022 than the prior year. 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 in a statement. The firm delivered record distributable earnings and realized some of its most profitable fund investments last year, 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%, when accounting for dividends. By contrast, the S&P 500 delivered 18% total losses. The stock has since generated some 21.2% in total returns this year, outpacing the S&P.

First Published: Feb 25 2023 | 8:42 AM IST

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