At a September 15 luncheon meeting, the featured speaker was Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder of The Blackstone Group L.P. In a wide ranging discussion exploring the highs and lows of the career of the man who Forbes magazine calls "the undisputed king of private equity", Mr. Schwarzman regaled Economic Club members and their guests with a story about the time he turned down an investment opportunity offered by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg approached Mr. Schwarzman with a request to invest $100 million to help expand Bloomberg LP in exchange for a 20 percent ownership. The offer came with a caveat that Mr. Schwarzman be an active partner, not passive investor. Mr. Schwarzman declined the opportunity, telling the audience, "Fast forward, that $100 million would today be probably $8 billion. So if you want to make mistakes, this is how you make them."
Excerpts from Event
I have real interest in helping other people get those opportunities, because if you don’t get them, particularly in a globalized world, . . . you have a much more modest opportunity to do well. So I like supporting educational things. I also like making change.