Blackstone Says Jonathan Gray To Succeed Stephen Schwarzman

Even if Schwarzman is not at the forefront of every investment decision at Blackstone, he remains a prominent figure in fundraising, promoting the firm as a diversified asset manager and seeking to attract capital across its investment platforms. Blackstone's brand is inextricably tied to his name.

While Schwarzman is still very much involved in running and expanding Blackstone, he had delegated the day-to-day running of the firm to James. Blackstone said Gray would assume similar duties, giving James more to focus on investing and cultivating clients.

The announcement makes Blackstone the latest private equity firm to announce such a move. Rivals such as Carlyle Group LP , KKR & Co LP and Ares Management LP announced succession plans last year.

Before joining Blackstone, James ran investment and merchant banking at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, which was taken over by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000. In recent years, James has considered taking a role outside of Blackstone, and in 2012 was offered the job of commerce secretary under US President Barack Obama, Reuters reported at the time.

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