Blackstone Dealmakers Line Up for Hillary Clinton in Money Race

Tony James and other top Blackstone Group LP executives are rallying behind Democrat Hillary Clinton with donations. Their boss, Republican Steve Schwarzman, is not.

At least 16 executives at Blackstone, the world’s biggest manager of alternative assets, gave the presidential candidate more than $43,000 in the second quarter, with most of them sending $2,700 each, the maximum allowed, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The donors included Jon Gray, global head of real estate; Laurence Tosi, chief financial officer; and Bennett Goodman, head of credit.

Presidential hopefuls, 16 months before the election, are courting donors in New York -- ground zero for tapping financiers’ pockets. At the four biggest private equity firms -- Blackstone, KKR & Co., Carlyle Group LP and Apollo Global Management LLC -- more than 80 percent of the at least 56 contributors who listed their employers backed Clinton, according to the filings. The remainder supported Republicans Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz.

The private equity executives have pledged their allegiance to Clinton despite her call to change the tax treatment of much of their income. Clinton, in a speech this week in New York, reiterated her support for “closing the carried interest loophole that lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate.”

Clinton backers at buyout firms included Blackstone’s Ken Caplan, Tim Coleman, John Studzinski, Byron Wien, Amy Stursberg, Verdun Perry and Brendan Boyle; KKR’s Ralph Rosenberg and Alisa Wood; and Carlyle’s Allan Holt, Sandra Horbach, Mitch Petrick, Jim Atwood, Mike Arpey and Dave Marchick, the filings show.

Republican candidates weren’t left out. Michael Chae, Blackstone’s head of international private equity, sent money to Bush, as did KKR’s Alex Navab and Michael Michelson, according to the filings. Peter Copses, a founding member of Apollo, and one of the firm’s senior partners, Larry Berg, supported Rubio.

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