FORTUNE -- Here's something I don't say too often: Thank you Steve Schwarzman.
This morning, The Blackstone Group (BX) announced a commitment to hire 50,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years, across its portfolio companies. This is part of the broader Joining Forces initiative led by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden (who discuss their efforts here).
Blackstone CEO Schwarzman tells me that the idea was first broached during a recent Business Roundtable meeting, which both he and Michelle Obama attended. "She spoke to us about the difficulties that many veterans face finding jobs, and also had people there from DoD and the Department of Labor," Schwarzman explains. "I have a lot of sympathy with veterans' issues – 28 vets per day are committing suicide -- and spent time thinking about what we at Blackstone could do."
The result is this pledge, which will be formally rolled out to Blackstone's portfolio companies next week during its annual CEO summit.
Sandy Ogg, a Blackstone operating partner who used to run HR for Unilever, says the 50,000 figure is very realistic. "We've already begun speaking with the CEOs of our larger companies, like Hilton which hires 20,000 people per year in the U.S. And Allied Barton, the second largest security company that last year hired 4,100 vets among the 20,000 people it hired."
He adds that Allied Barton told him that military veterans have been found to make better managers, and have less "churn."
As some readers know, my wife J is a clinical psychologist whose research focus is suicide and depression prevention among returning vets. She doesn't usually bring her work home with her, but she has expressed frustration over the lack of employment opportunities for many of those with whom she works.
Hopefully other large private equity firms follow Blackstone's lead, so that those returning from war are better able to find peace at home.
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Big private equity firms are offering diversified products, but one size may not fit all investors.
FORTUNE -- One year ago I recommended that you buy stock in publicly-traded private equity firms, like Apollo Global Management (APO) and The Carlyle Group (CG). My theory was that such issuers were being undervalued by analysts who obsessed over assets under management (i.e., fund management fees), while paying too little attention to underlying portfolio MOREDan Primack - Apr 29, 2013 2:26 PM ET
A major discrepancy emerges in Dell timeline.
FORTUNE -- When The Blackstone Group ended its pursuit of Dell Inc. last night, on of the reasons it cited was the PC maker's "rapidly eroding financial profile." Specifically, that Dell had "revised its operating income projections for the current year to $3.0 billion from $3.7 billion."
What Blackstone (BX) is talking about is referenced in Dell's (DELL) preliminary proxy statement, dated March 25. It MOREDan Primack - Apr 19, 2013 11:29 AM ET
Blackstone ends its pursuit of the PC maker.
FORTUNE -- The Blackstone Group (BX) is ending its pursuit of Dell Inc. (DELL) without formally submitting a superior offer to the $24.4 billion bid made earlier this year by company founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news earlier this evening, and it has been independently confirmed with multiple sources by Fortune. We also MOREDan Primack - Apr 18, 2013 10:14 PM ET
Blackstone reports earnings.
FORTUNE -- The Blackstone Group this morning reported 55 cents in net economic income for Q1, beating analyst estimates of 53 cents per share.
Some takeaways, from both the earnings report and a subsequent media call with Blackstone (BX) president Tony James:
1. Slow investment quarter on the private equity side, with just $325 million committed/invested.
2. Private equity portfolio carrying values climbed 7.9% quarter-over-quarter, and 18.2% over 12 months.
3. Private MOREDan Primack - Apr 18, 2013 1:11 PM ET
Dell does not yet have any "superior offers."
FORTUNE -- Southeastern Asset Management today sent a letter to Dell's board of directors, again expressing its opposition to the proposed $13.65 per share buyout by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. And again it was worth reading, if for no other reason than that SAM is Dell's (DELL) largest outside shareholder.
Here was the new part that caught my eye:
The Special Committee has obtained two MOREDan Primack - Apr 9, 2013 12:15 PM ET
Dell's top comp is having a tough day. Could it affect the final buyout price?
FORTUNE -- Yesterday I spoke with a banker who insisted that Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners would never get their Dell (DELL) buyout done at $13.65 per share. He felt that the market had changed too much since the offer was accepted by Dell's board, as evidenced by Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) stock surge over the past MOREDan Primack - Apr 2, 2013 1:39 PM ET
Michael Dell tells Dell employees what may come next.
FORTUNE -- Last month I was critical of Michael Dell for not explaining his plans for a privately-held Dell Inc. (DELL), were he and Silver Lake to successfully purchase the company. We got a bit more insight from last Friday's proxy statement, but today the CEO sent a memo to all company employees that was more specific.
Here is the part of the MOREDan Primack - Apr 1, 2013 4:43 PM ET
Dell tells shareholders that it extracted a higher price from Silver Lake... and also that it's got big problems.
FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. (DELL) today filed a proxy statement, detailing the process leading up its its $24.4 billion buyout proposal from CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. The proxy also includes details from the company's recent "go-shop" period, which resulted in nonbinding indications of interest from The MOREDan Primack - Mar 29, 2013 4:21 PM ET
PC maker reimbursing due diligence costs for potential buyers.
FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. is reimbursing The Blackstone Group's due diligence costs on a possible buyout offer for the company, Fortune has learned.
Sources close to the situation say that Blackstone (BX) repeatedly requested the concession, threatening to otherwise walk away from the table during the "go-shop" process. Dell's (DELL) special committee eventually favored the move, believing that it would increase the odds of MOREDan Primack - Mar 27, 2013 8:13 PM ET
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