Landing a Blackstone Job Harder Than Harvard, Yale, Founder Says

Harvard University
Harvard banners hang outside Memorial Church on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. Harvard University accepted a record-low 5.3 percent of hopefuls after attracting 37,307 applicants as it stepped up recruiting with a social-media campaign. Photographer: Michael Fein/Bloomberg

Want to be an analyst at Blackstone Group LP? Good luck.

The firm had more than 15,000 applications for 100 analyst positions, co-founder Steve Schwarzman said Thursday on a conference call with analysts and investors. That’s an acceptance rate of less than 0.7 percent.

“It’s six times harder to get a job as an analyst at Blackstone than getting into Harvard, Yale or Stanford,” said the 68-year-old billionaire.

Schwarzman, a Yale University and Harvard Business School graduate, made the comment after New York-based Blackstone reported its highest-ever quarterly earnings, double the firm’s profit a year ago. Rather than starting the traditional quarterly conference call dissecting the results, Schwarzman launched into a discussion of Blackstone’s standing in the world of finance and among global corporations.

“We like to think that the companies that are similar to Blackstone include many of the great companies in the world,” Schwarzman said, citing Apple Inc., Google Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Starbucks Corp. “Their customers need their products and turn to them first.”

Blackstone, with $310 billion in assets under management, is the world’s biggest alternative investment firm. With private equity, real estate, credit and hedge fund units, it’s one of the most sought-after companies for young investment bankers and business school graduates.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in May 2013 that it had 17,000 applicants for 350 spots in a summer analyst program in its investment banking division. That’s an acceptance rate of 2.1 percent.

Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offered admission to 5.3 percent of applicants to its class entering this year. Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, accepted 6.5 percent, and Stanford, California-based Stanford University offered 5 percent of hopefuls a spot.

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