MIGHTY 25: ‘King of Capital’ Steve Schwarzman invests in military families
Army Reserve veteran Steve Schwarzman has spent his career building businesses and investing in America’s future. Now he’s doing it for veterans, too.
Though well-known as a billionaire investor and businessman, he got his start running a lawn-mowing business at 14 years old. After high school he attended Yale and fulfilled his time in the U.S. Army Reserve before attending Harvard for business.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms and was founded in 1985 by Schwarzman and Peter Peterson. The company seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for investors, the companies we invest in and the communities in which they work. Its asset management businesses boasts over $360 billion in assets under management, including investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis.
In 2013, Schwarzman was at a dinner hosted by then-First Lady Michelle Obama. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on FOX Business he recalled being shocked when she revealed how many veterans were taking their lives every day and the dismal employment prospects for warriors returning from war.
"Business is usually a team sport. There isn’t one great person sitting there directing things, you can’t run an effective business like that. I got outside of my apartment, I picked up my cell phone and I [spoke to her] and said: 'That was so important, what you were saying, that we’re going to hire 50,000 people who are veterans,’” Schwarzman told her. “I came to work the next day and it was a management committee day and I said to my partners, ‘By the way, we just committed to hiring 50,000 veterans.' It will probably end up, as a five-year commitment, at 65,000."
By 2017 the company had met its goal and doubled down, committing to expanding their hiring efforts to military spouses, too. In the press release for the announcement, he expanded on his “why”:
“America’s military veterans embody the traits that help our portfolio companies succeed and grow. These men and women are hardworking, adaptable, collaborative, reliable and possess the highest integrity,” he said. “We are excited about the success of this initiative and look forward to expanding its impact in the future to support our country’s veterans and their loved ones.”
He worked with other partners and soon, billionaire hedge fund managers were putting money into employment and mental health resources. By 2021, Blackstone and Schwarzman had hired over 100k veterans. The company also formed a veterans network and a military internship program. It has also committed over $100 million to veteran and military family-supporting nonprofit organizations.
In 2023, they became the lead supporter of Bunker Labs. This partnership paired volunteer Blackstone advisors with military family businesses to provide coaching and mentorship as they grow their companies.
For all this and more, Schwarzman is more than MIGHTY.
You can learn more about Blackstone and its commitment to the military community by clicking here.