Blackstone Case Study

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Background
The Blackstone Group (Blackstone) is a private equity firm founded in 1985 by two former employees of Lehman Brothers. In May 2007 the firm had $88.4 billion under management and had grown 41% annually since 2001.
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Long-term perspective
One of the advantages of being a private firm is that the firm only has to disclose limited information about its operations. Blackstone operates its investment on a long-term basis why the firm has a lot of variability in its earnings. As an example, a fund usually has a return that can be visualized in a “J-curve”, meaning that the fund is basically loosing money in the beginning due to management fees but catches up in the long run. The stock market is known to be short-term focused and may interpret the fluctuation as negative news and therefore causing a fluctuation in the stock price or an undervaluation.

Blackstone is basically using two ways to approach the problem. First, they are aligning the compensation to its employees so it serves the interest of both the limited partners (long-term) and the stock market (short-term). This is further elaborated in the fourth question in this paper. Second, they are informing the potential investors through a prospect that holding a Blackstone unit (share) is different from other shares in the market. Third, to further smooth out potential fluctuations in the share price the firm guarantees a dividend during the first years after
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I would not receive any of the shares that the firm initially planned to give to its employees; I would prefer an offer from a non-public firm. The reason is mainly that a part of the salary comes in shares. There are several drawbacks with this. First, a part of your salary will be exposed to fluctuations in the stock market and as outlined in the previous question, these fluctuations may not always be justified. Therefore, since part of the salary will be exposed to risk an employee should request a higher salary compared to if he/she would get it in cash. Second, even though I would, as a private person, want to hold a part of my capital in stocks, I would prefer something else than the firm that I am working for. By having the same shares I am exposed to the success of the firm not only with my salary (risk of losing my job), but also with my savings. I would as a private person prefer to have most of my savings at least in another firm and even better, in another

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