Steve Schwarzman, 60, left Lehman Brothers in the 1980s to set up a small
boutique called Blackstone with Pete Peterson, a former official in the Nixon administration.
More than 20 years later their creation is set to become the first large private equity group to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
Blackstone has an estimated market value of
Mr Schwarzman was raised in suburban Philadelphia and educated at Yale University. His net worth is estimated at $3.5bn.
Mr Schwarzman has recently become active in Washington, where he is chairman of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.