Blackstone Grooming Six To Succeed Schwarzman

Aug 28 2012 | 12:15pm ET

Another alternative investments giant is preparing for the eventual exit of its key executive.

The Blackstone Group is grooming six people as possible successors to founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, CNBC reports. The latest to join the group is Joe Baratta, recently named the firm's global head of private equity as part of a wider succession plan.

Schwarzman has no plans to retire; indeed, one senior Blackstone executive told CNBC that "Steve will never retire. He will die at his desk." But if he did in the next few years, Tony James, the firm's president and chief operating officer, would likely take over. The same insider said that James is not likely to be "leaving anytime soon."

The other senior Blackstone executives tapped to potentially take over from Schwarzman are Bennett Goodman, the head of GSO Capital Partners, Blackstone's credit hedge fund business; Jonathan Gray, head of real estate; Tom Hill, who leads the hedge fund team; Laurence Tosi, CFO; and Joan Solotar, head of investor relations.

Four of the six candidates are in their forties. Goodman is 54 and Hill is 63, just two years younger than Schwarzman.

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