Sunday, March 1

Super Return

Steve Schwarzman made $690m last year
I am in Berlin last week for the Super Return conference, the largest private equity conference in the world which brings together the rich and the very rich. The mood this year is vibrant and upbeat despite Russia and Greece and all the other various crisis that plague our news. How can one be downbeat when interest rates at nought percent and money is free? The deals are flowing. 

Another sign that the industry returning to worrisome levels is fund raising: in 2014, firms raised something like $550bn compared to $640bn in 2007, the peak. Not too far off. Unsurprisingly, acquisitions multiples, relative to EBITDA or free cashflow, now exceed 11X. Once an 8X deal thought high. 

Here is something to ponder: The richest people on Earth got richer in 2014, adding $92 billion to their collective fortune. The net worth of the world’s top 400 billionaires on Monday stood at $4.1 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking.

As for Steve Schwarzman, he founded Blackstone, one of the most powerful investment firms in the world.  His net worth is $11bn (photo from the web).