Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire co-founder of Blackstone Group, said Thursday on CNBC that he gets a "real chuckle" about the confusion between his private equity firm's name and Larry Fink's BlackRock.
During an interview on "Squawk Box," Schwarzman told the behind-the-scenes story about the similar names, saying Fink and he decided decades ago to do it on purpose.
The business that would become BlackRock started under the umbrella of Schwarzman's firm in 1988. "They used to be called Blackstone Financial," Schwarzman said. "We started in business together. We put up the initial capital." Schwarzman started Blackstone three years earlier in 1985.
When Fink decided to branch out on his own, he needed a new name for his asset management operation, Schwarzman said. "Larry and I were sitting down and he said, 'What do you think sort of about having a family name with "black" in it.'"