February 27, 2016 / 4:32 AM / in 2 years

Blackstone CEO took home $810.6 million in 2015

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.

File photo of Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Blackstone Group, looks on during an interview with Maria Bartiromo, on her Fox Business Network show; "Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo" in New York February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

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