Co-founder of Private Equity Firm Blackstone Peter Peterson Dies at 91
Peter George Peterson, co-founder of one of the world’s largest private equity firm Blackstone Group, has died at the age of 91. He and Stephen Schwarzman had left Lehman and founded Blackstone in 1985 with only 4 staffs, including themselves. Today, Blackstone is one of the world’s largest investment manager, in private equity, real estate, hedge funds and credit with more than $434 billion AUM. The investment manager employs almost 2,300 employees in 25 offices worldwide. At founding, both contributed $200,000 for a total capital of $400,000, with Peter G. Peterson becoming the Chairman at age 59 and Stephen Schwarzman became the CEO at age 38.
” Co-founder of Private Equity Firm Blackstone Peter Peterson Dies at 91 “
Peter G. Peterson had served as the U.S. Commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon in 1971 at the age of 37. In 1973, he joined Lehman as Vice-Chairman and within 2 months, became the Chairman & CEO. He quickly restructured losses from the bond-trading business and in 1977, merged Lehman with Kuhn, Loeb & Co., a New York investment bank. In 1984, Lehman was sold to Shearson/American Express Inc. for about $375 million, where he received a sum due a contractual agreement in the event Lehman was sold.
In 2007, 22 years after the founding of Blackstone, Blackstone went public giving him almost $1.85 billion after listing. He retired at the end of 2008, and invested his time and money on the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
He was born in 1926, in Kearney, Nebraska in the United States. His father was born in Greece, went to United States in 1923 at the age of 17. He has 2 siblings, and one died at the age of 1. In 1944, in his freshmen at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was expelled for plagiarism after consulting a term paper written by a friend of a friend. Thereafter, he went to Northwestern University and graduated summa cum laude in 1947. In 1951, he received his master’s degree at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business. He was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2000 to 2004. Peter G. Peterson was divorced twice, and his third marriage was to Joan Ganz Cooney, the co-founder of Sesame Street and Children’s Television Workshop.
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