The Blackstone Group has named real estate chief Jonathan Gray to its board of directors.
A seat on the private equity giant's board is somewhat rarefied territory: Blackstone has only seven directors, and Gray joins Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman, President Tony James, hedge fund chief Tom Hill and three independent directors.
Gray's addition to the board represents both the increasing importance of the business he leads to Blackstone's bottom line and Gray's positioning as a possible successor to Schwarzman, who is 64. Schwarzman has said he has no intention of retiring any time soon.
"We have always believed in institutionalizing Blackstone and having a clear succession plan even if it is not going to happen for years," a Blackstone partner told the Financial Times.
Gray has been with Blackstone since 1992.