Business World

Saturday 25 January 2020

Blackstone, adviser to Anglo Irish Bank, paid its chief executive $213.5m last year

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE company advising the former Anglo Irish Bank on how to sell loans paid its chief executive the equivalent of €160m ($213.5m) last year, making him the highest-paid US private-equity executive.

Stephen Schwarzman, the founder and chief executive of Blackstone Private Equity, earned more than €3m a week as his company emerged as a major player here in Ireland.

Sinn Fein TDs raised questions in the Dail this week about the firm's involvement with the National Asset Management Agency and the successor to Anglo Irish, which calls itself the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

In August, Blackstone lost out in the bidding for NAMA's US loan book, the first sign that Blackstone had an interest in Ireland.

Mr Schwarzman then met Enda Kenny for talks in November while his company bought the Dublin-based asset-management company Harbourmaster. Earlier this month, IBRC hired Blackstone to advise on selling its loans.

Blackstone and its rivals are seen by critics as 'vulture' funds -- picking over distressed companies for valuable assets to sell on later as prices recover.

In 2010 Mr Schwarzman told a Goldman Sachs seminar that the European debt crisis would present buying opportunities.

"You want to wait until there's really blood in the streets," he said.

"You're better off paying 10pc more into a healing situation than trying to pick bottoms."

Irish Independent

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