Dec 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

Tony James to leave Blackstone after 20 years

Hamilton "Tony" James. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tony James plans to retire from his role as executive vice chairman of investment giant Blackstone at the end of the year, according to an internal memo distributed on Thursday.

Behind the scenes: Blackstone set up a succession plan for James in 2018, when it promoted real estate boss Jon Gray to the president and COO roles that James had held since joining the firm in 2002.

Per the memo, penned by Blackstone co-founder and CEO Steve Schwarzman:

"I recall a conversation we had when he first joined Blackstone. He told me that he would retire when he turned 70. With surprise, I asked him how he could possibly know what he would want to do in almost 20 years’ time. Yet, true to his word, Tony is retiring this year...
It is hard to adequately express my thanks to Tony for all that he has poured into Blackstone during his tenure. We would not have gotten as far as we have, nor would Blackstone be the firm that it is today without his talent, commitment, and managerial strength. He has shown dedication, loyalty, and true imagination."

James has long been speculated to have interest in some sort of political appointment in a Democratic administration, although his Wall Street background makes that politically complicated, and sits on the boards of several philanthropic organizations.

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