October 7, 2020

Stephen Schwarzman

Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO / Blackstone

Stephen A. Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Blackstone, participated in a virtual program. The conversation was moderated by ECC Chair Debra A. Cafaro, while President & CEO David Snyder moderated live questions submitted by attendees.

Sometimes failures are the most informative. If you’re adaptable, you’re observant, and you’re not scared to confront your own errors, you learn from them.

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Stephen Schwarzman on how learning from failure is even more important than celebrating the wins.


Stephen Schwarzman

Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO / Blackstone

Stephen A. Schwarzman is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms with $649 billion Assets Under Management (as of March 31, 2021). Mr. Schwarzman has been involved in all phases of Blackstone’s development since its founding in 1985. The firm has established leading investing businesses across asset classes, including private equity, where it is a global leader in traditional buyout, growth equity, special situations and secondary investing; real estate, where it is currently the largest owner of property in the world; hedge fund solutions, where it is the world’s largest discretionary hedge fund investor; and credit, where it is a global leader and major provider of credit for small, middle-market and other companies. Blackstone has also recently launched major new businesses dedicated to infrastructure and life sciences investing, as well as delivering the firm’s investment management expertise and products to insurance companies.


Debra A. Cafaro

Chairman & CEO / Ventas Inc.

Debra A. Cafaro has been Venta’s Inc., Chief Executive Officer and a director since 1999 and Chairman of its Board of Directors since 2003. She also served as our President from 1999 to November 2010. In addition to her work at Ventas, Cafaro is broadly engaged across the business, public policy, arts, academic, sports and non-profit sectors. She serves on the Board of Directors of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., a bank holding company and financial services corporation (NYSE: PNC). Additionally, Cafaro is the Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable, a public policy organization that brings together leaders of the nation’s top real estate firms to address key national policy issues relating to real estate; the Chair of the Executive Committee and a Member of the Board of Directors of The Economic Club of Chicago, whose mission is to foster meaningful connections among the city’s leaders on important economic and social issues; a member of the Business Council, a private association of chief executive officers; serves on the Boards of Trustees for the University of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to successive terms on the Board of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (2015 to 2019). Prior to joining Ventas, Cafaro was President and a director of an NYSE-listed multi-family REIT, a practicing lawyer for 13 years and a judicial clerk for the Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Cafaro earned her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was named its 2011 Distinguished Alumna.