Schwarzman, Zell top list of richest buyout chiefs

The heads of Blackstone and Equity International lead the Forbes 400 list of the richest US investors in private equity. Leon Black, Pete Peterson, David Rubenstein, Tom Barrack, Tony James and Jerry Speyer were among other buyout titans listed.

Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, is the wealthiest private equity investor listed on this year's Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.

His personal net worth is estimated at $6.4 billion (€4.4 billion), while Sam Zell, founder of private equity real estate firm Equity International, is listed as having $5 billion.

Sam Zell

The two are the highest-ranking buyout titans, but the list's top spots went to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, with respective fortunes of $57 billion and $50 billion. 

Schwarzman and Zell, the two behind last year's blockbuster $39 billion Equity Office Properties deal, were among a handful of private equity GPs that made the Forbes 400.

Apollo Global Management founder Leon Black is believed to be worth $3.5 billion, while Blackstone co-founder Peter Peterson was listed with a $2.8 billion fortune.

The Carlyle Group’s co-founder David Rubenstein has a personal wealth of $2.7 billion, Forbes said.

Colony Capital founder Tom Barrack and Tishman Speyer co-founder Jerry Speyer were both reported to have $2 billion each. Blackstone president Hamilton James is estimated to have a $1.4 billion fortune, while Walter Shorenstein, the father of Shorenstein Properties’ chairman and chief executive officer Doug Shorenstein, and his family have a reported $1.3 billion.