NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman took home $810.6 million in 2015, after the New York-based asset manager returned a record amount of cash to its shareholders following a wave of lucrative asset sales.
The hefty payout represented a 17 percent rise in Schwarzman's earnings compared with 2014, in line with a solid rise in Blackstone's cash earnings last year.
Blackstone's distributable earnings rose 25 percent on an annual basis in 2015 to $3.8 billion.
Schwarzman received $89.5 million in compensation, $644.8 million in dividends from his Blackstone shares, $65.6 million for his investments in Blackstone funds, and $10.8 million for tax benefits related to his stake in the company before its 2007 listing, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.
Founded in 1985 by Schwarzman and Peter Peterson for $400,000, Blackstone manages some $336 billion worth of assets.
The son of a dry goods store owner, Schwarzman, 69, is ranked by Forbes as the 100th richest man in the United States, with an estimated net worth of $12 billion.
Blackstone President Tony James took home $236.2 million last year, the filing showed.
James' earnings comprised $75.9 million in compensation, $89.5 million in dividends from his Blackstone shares, $68.5 million for his investments in Blackstone funds, and $2.3 million for tax benefits related to his stake in Blackstone before the firm's initial public offering.
In contrast, the co-founders of Blackstone's rival, KKR & Co (KKR.N), collected less earnings last year as a decision to cap KKR's dividend at 16 cents a share for each quarter reduced their payouts.
Henry Kravis took home $165.1 million last year, down nearly a quarter from 2014, with dividends accounting for $112.8 million, a filing late on Friday showed.
The earnings of his co-founder and cousin George Roberts also fell by a quarter to $172 million.
Reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York; Editing by Richard Chang and Tom Hogue