Bull Bear Report Feb 03 2011

Blackstone Expands Headcount and Pay

By kyle stock

Private-equity giant Blackstone Group LP grew headcount by almost 25% in 2010 and vastly increased pay per employee.

Hiring at the New York-based firm bolstered staff last year to 1,500, an increase of 280, according to Peter Rose, a Blackstone senior managing director who handles public affairs.

Blackstone set aside $810,717 per worker for compensation last year, up 29% from the 2009 level, $630,145.

Although the firm set aside $3.6 billion for compensation and benefits, $167 million less than in 2009, according to its earnings release this morning, most of that pay is tied to stock grants awarded at the company's 2007 IPO.

Considering stock grants, employees at Blackstone were compensated, on average, $2.41 million last year, down 22% from the 2009 level, $3.1 million.

The company finished the year on a positive note, posting a net loss of $11 million in the fourth quarter, narrowed from a $143.3 million loss in the year-earlier period.

Net revenue at the firm grew 49% to $1.1 billion, well above the expectations of analysts recently polled by Thomson Reuters.

Write to Kyle Stock

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