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Steve Schwarzman Headed to Paris

Monday, 6 Dec 2010 | 10:08 AM ET

The mystery of where in Europe Steve Schwarzman is going has been solved.

Stephen A. Schwarzman
AP
Stephen A. Schwarzman

He's headed to Paris.

Last week, Reuters reporter Megan Davies revealed that the chief executive and co-founder of private-equity powerhouse Blackstone Group was decamping from the United States in favor of residence in Europe.

On Saturday Davies learned that Schwarzman is headed to Paris.

It's still not clear why. Davies reports that the move is only temporary, expected to last just three to six months. The reason is suspiciously vague—something about Blackstone becoming "increasingly global." So is Blackstone planning on going on a European buyout spree? Will the headlines be full of news of Blackstone take over deals of European companies?

Probably not. There would be no need for Schwarzman to move to Paris to run takeover deals. Blackstone has plenty of people capable of that. It is far more likely that Blackstone is planning on launching some new funds with backers in Europe and the Middle East, people with whom it is far easier to meet in Europe than the United States.

Schwarzman's presence in Europe is probably intended to drive fund raising efforts.

"Schwarzman has close ties to France. He knows French President Nicolas Sarkozy well, the source said. He was awarded the Legion d'honneur by former French President Jacques Chirac, according to Blackstone's website," Davies writes. "Blackstone has an office in the center of Paris, close to the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries."

Does anyone know why Chirac, a noted critic of "Anglo-American capitalism," awarded Schwarzman the Legion d'honneur? ____________________________________________________

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