Term Sheet

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

About that Blackstone Group succession plan

January 31, 2014: 11:38 AM ET
Blackstone's president, Tony James (right), has quietly become almost as powerful as Schwarzman.

Steve Schwarzman (left) and Tony James

Jonathan Grey is next in line. Still.

FORTUNE -- The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that The Blackstone Group (BX) was grooming Jonathan Grey, the 43- year-old head of its booming real estate business, to eventually succeed firm president Tony James. And, in time, to succeed firm founder and CEO Steve Schwarzman.

I'd wager that the WSJ is correct, both on the individual and the timing.

As for Grey, his ascension at Blackstone isn't exactly breaking news. Nearly two years ago, The Financial Times wrote something very close to what the WSJ published yesterday. And, since then, Tony James himself has noted that Grey's success has helped transform Blackstone from a private equity firm that does real estate into a real estate firm that does private equity.

As for the timing, there continue to be widespread speculation -- both inside Blackstone and in private equity circles -- that James would be willing to leave Blackstone if the right offer comes along. Not for another investment job, but rather for something either in government (James was a big Obama supporter) or in the nonprofit world. Some of that talk was heightened last fall, when James said during an interview that "if I felt I could do something good for the world, I might consider that."

For now, however, Blackstone's succession plan remains just that. A plan. Kind of like it was two years ago. What we've learned this week isn't so much something new, so much as that nothing's changed.

Sign up for Dan Primack's daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers: GetTermSheet.com

Join the Conversation
About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

Email a Tip | @danprimack | RSS
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.