Business

Blackstone CEO pledges to donate the majority of his wealth to charity

Posted February 5, 2020 3:23 p.m. EST

— Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman committed to giving the majority of his wealth to philanthropy by signing The Giving Pledge on Wednesday.

The Giving Pledge is a movement that was started by Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. Targeting billionaires across the world, the pledge encourages people with a net worth of $1 billion or more to donate the majority of their personal wealth to philanthropy. It now has 206 signatories from 23 countries, whose commitments total over $500 billion. Notable pledgers include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla founder Elon Musk and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

Schwarzman has an estimated net worth of $13.2 billion and is one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, according to Forbes.

As chairman and co-founder of Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth based in New York, Schwarzman has earned more than $5 billion from stock sales and compensation over the years. The company was established in 1985 with a primary focus on mergers and acquisitions and emerged to be the largest alternative investment firm in the world.

Signers of The Giving Pledge are not required to commit to a specific cause, although Schwarzman has shown a strong philanthropic interest in education. In the past decade, he has donated hundreds of millions to the New York Public Library, Tsinghua University in China, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford.

"Although plans for my estate have long reflected the principles of the Pledge, I am joining because I think it's an important signal to encourage others to step up philanthropically as well," Schwarzman wrote in a letter to Bill Gates.

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