Blackstone Moves To Repair Pension Reputation

Jan 20 2011 | 2:56am ET

The Blackstone Group yesterday offered a mea culpa for the words of its top strategist.

The private equity giant issued a statement making clear that it rejects Byron Wien’s opinion, offered last year, that the U.S. “literally can’t afford the benefits we have given our retirees in state and local government and we have to change that.” The firm offered the public repudiation as it strives to appease New York City’s public pension funds, which abruptly cancelled a meeting with the firm earlier this month.

“We oppose scapegoating public employees by blaming them for the structural budget deficits that cities and states face,” the firm said. “We at Blackstone are committed to helping public employees retire with confidence in the strength and reliability of their pensions.”

“Blackstone’s view on public-employee pensions is clear and unambiguous: We believe a pension is a promise.”

It is unclear if the public statement will appease the Big Apple’s union chiefs or their representatives on the boards of the five city pensions. Previous efforts, including a meeting in May with Blackstone President Tony James and a letter published in Pensions & Investments failed to do the trick. Union representatives on three of the five boards—those that cancelled a meeting with James set for Jan. 7—reportedly want Wien himself to retract his statement.


In Depth

Humble in Hofstra...One Debate an Election Can Make

Sep 26 2016 | 10:20am ET

Tonight's U.S. Presidential debate, infamously coined the “Humbling in Hofstra...

Lifestyle

Quattrex Sports AG Debuts Soccer-Focused UCITS Fund

Sep 9 2016 | 9:54pm ET

Innovative alternative investment company Quattrex Sports has unveiled a new UCITS...

Guest Contributor

Malik: The Ever-Changing Middle Market and The Entering Class of 2016

Sep 2 2016 | 5:01pm ET

Deal sourcing and origination is only going to get more competitive given current...