Blackstone Group. Do they have a real board? $BX

Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) is a private equity giant. What kind of board of directors do they have and what do they need? Considering their role in life is financial engineering the average Blackstone executive has a very heightened sense of the strategic. Where would the board fit in?

Take a look at some of the independent directors and see if a theme or two comes out.

Brian Mulroney 73 is the former prime minister of Canada. He was in the saddle with President Ronald Regan and Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher. The man is clearly there for political networking.

William Parrett 67 is the former CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Blackstone will buy their accounting advice on a deal by deal basis and charge the customer. His value will again be contacts and networks.

Richard Jenrette 83 is the retired founder and former Chair and CEO of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Stock trading advice? Meh! He does have an element of sainthood and gravitas.

Jay Light 71 dean emeritus Harvard Business School. Contacts, prestige, contacts and then prestige again.

This is not a working board which acts as the shareholders representative. This is an old school board with contacts and connections to help the Blackstone Group. nothing wrong with that. Just that it does not fit modern-day governance practices.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter@financialskepti or maybe follow his evil twin who is writing a Wall Street Murder Thriller at twitter@georgegutowski


Blackstone. Who really understands the plumbing? Stephen A. Schwarzman does not add color. $BX

English: DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 24JAN08 - Stephen ...

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Blackstone (NYSE:BX) released Q4 numbers. Lets be honest. Who understands it? Who can predict or forecast it. Basically its all about transaction fees, assets under administration (AUM) and carried interest. The earnings release provides a little bit of elevator commentary. This number was up. That number was down. Still cannot understand.

So in conclusion if the market cannot figure it out why is there value? Volatility and Wall of Worry issues abound.

So when the chief guy offers up this quote you know he is not trying to help you out. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said,       “Despite volatile markets and struggling economies, Blackstone had strong performance in 2011. Our investors view us as a critical partner, helping them protect and grow their capital.”

That’s promotional if you ask me. By the way he also commented that investments made by Blackstone created employment but did not offer up any examples. You would think they could prove that one.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.