BLACKSTONE AND CLYDE

Stephen Schwarzman really knows how to bring disparate groups together. Since May, the Blackstone co-founder has been chairman of the Washington DC-based John F. Kennedy Center, a performing arts institution.

This coming December, the Kennedy Center will be honoring six artists, including film legend Warren Beatty. President George W. Bush is expected to attend the ceremony. When the phrase “Hollywood liberal” is uttered, most people think of Beatty, a longtime Democratic activist and no fan of Bush, to put it mildly.

Will combative, unscripted words be said during the event in question? Perhaps not – Beatty and Bush have spent at least one civil evening together – last January at a nonpartisan event held by the ubernetworked Alfalfa Club.

Bush also may have just been defeated at the polls by John Kerry, a situation that will not be welcomed by Bush or Bush supporter Schwarzman, but will no doubt make the Kennedy Center event that much more enjoyable for Beatty.

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“Notwithstanding the unfortunate conduct in this instance, the firm is among the giants in the industry, and well poised to provide the pension fund with a good return on those investments we are obligated to see through.”

Denise Nappier, treasurer of the State of Connecticut, in a press release announcing a settlement with Forstmann Little, the New York buyout firm Nappier accused of egregiously violating its contractual obligations with the state through bad investments in telecom companies.

“We were held hostage to the financial sponsors group … It was all about supporting the mother ship. We wanted to prove ourselves in a non-invesment-bank model.”

Former CSFB Private Equity employee Michael Ranger, discussing why joined a group led by Larry Schloss to leave the firm and start an independent private equity group, Diamond Castle, to the Wall Street Journal.

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“Private equity firms have an awful history of not following their strategy and not doing what they said they would do. It has been an endemic problem within the industry for ten years. What always happens is that the grass seems greener on the other side. You should be running your winners for longer. The biggest mistake I made was to sell William Hill too early. We made £140 million in 13 months but if we had held on to it for another five years we would have made £2 billion.”

Guy Hands, Terra Firma, Financial Times, 6 Sept 2004.

“People are tired of this asset class not being measured the way other asset classes are.”

Hamilton Lane CEO Mario Giannini tells PEI why his firm is focused on capturing and analyzing private equity data.