Blackstone pays for success: Compensation rises 28% in 2010

Feb 03, 2011

Earlier today we wrote about earnings at The Blackstone Group (bx), which just finished its best year since going public in mid-2007.  Now we know that the firm's success didn't come cheap.

FINS reports that Blackstone employees, on average, were paid $810,717 last year -- an increase of 29% over 2009. It adds that overall headcount was expanded by approximately 23% -- up to 1,500 employees at year-end.

This doesn't seem to jibe with Blackstone's earnings release -- showing that total monies set aside for compensation at the firm fell from $3.77 billion to $3.6 billion -- but FINS says that the majority of those figures relates to stock options granted as part of Blackstone's IPO.

In general, these figures are way above private equity industry averages. A recent compensation report published by Dow Jones and search firm Glocap found that private equity partners in 2010 earned average compensation of $1.49 million. Those are the top dogs. Average principals made $567,000, while vice presidents made $430,000 and senior associates earned $313,000. Lowly analysts brought home $203,000, and there are all sorts of other employees who typically make even less (IT pros, administrative assistants, etc.).

The report also found that private equity compensation rose just 1% in 2010, compared to Blackstone's 29% increase.

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