Jul 20, 2017

Blackstone Group won't "pre-announce" succession plan

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Ng Han Gua / AP

The Blackstone Group this morning fell into the maddening Wall Street boomerang of growing earnings but missing analyst estimates. Economic net income in Q2 2017 was 36% higher than during the year-earlier period, which works out to 59 cents per share but was below the Thomson Reuters estimate of 62 cents per share. Shares are down just slightly in early morning trading.

  • Headline: Real estate investments soared, credit investments sagged.
  • ROI: Blackstone has now been public for just over a decade. Investors who bought at the IPO price and reinvested their dividends into BX stock would be up 106%, per a firm statement.
  • Infrastructure: Blackstone expects to hold a first close on its massive infrastructure fund in Q1 2018.
  • Future leaders: Blackstone has no plans to follow KKR's recent lead in publicly announcing a succession plan. Firm president Tony James said during a media call: "We have succession plans for every critical seat, going out years, and are comfortable that we have the best succession planning in the industry. In private equity, for example, we're on our fourth or fifth leader and have never missed a beat. I don't know what you gain by pre-announcing things."

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

2 hours ago - Technology

Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.