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Vault’s Verdict

Blackstone is one of the most highly respected financial employers in North America, if not the world. Although alternative investing might be the firm’s strong suit and Blackstone is very well known in the PE industry, the firm has a significant investment banking presence on Wall Street and attracts high caliber candidates from the top schools in the country. As a result, the firm’s hiring process is extremely competitive. Ideal candidates are highly motivated, eager to learn, hardworking, finance savvy, humble, and friendly. Internships are offered by the firm and are said to be excellent experiences where interns are given a tremendous amount of live deal experience while working alongside senior bankers and senior-level officers of clients. Career development opportunities abound for full-time junior bankers, as Blackstone encourages employees to take on as much as they can handle and move within the firm if they so desire. The firm is also very supportive of analysts looking for jobs outside the firm after their two years are up. Although insiders will work long hours, particularly when staffed on live deals, Blackstone goes to great lengths to offer its employees a healthy work/life balance, and seniors respect juniors’ time and efforts. In addition, the culture is said to be tight-knit, and seniors as well as juniors are able to have strong family lives. As for pay, it’s top-notch—near, if not at the top of the Street. Benefits, meanwhile, are very competitive. Diversity also receives average ratings. As for philanthropic activities, insiders say the firm is strongly committed to giving back. And as far as Blackstone’s business outlook is concerned, the future looks extremely bright. The firm’s advisory business is being spun off into a public entity soon, and insiders believe the move will only further develop and grow Blackstone’s already top-notch advisory operation. As a result, employee morale is strong.

Hiring Process

  • “Ideal candidate is someone who has some finance experience and a particular interest in distressed, complex situations. Must embrace new and difficult situations because we are put in those types of situations all the time. Each distressed company has a different story (economy, products, leverage, market forces, legal, maturities, etc.), and it is our job to assess each situation and come up with a plan of attack. Our recruiting process involves casual interactions on campus, resume reviews, and on-campus interviews before inviting an individual to interview in our offices.” 

  • “Blackstone is looking for intelligent applicants who have demonstrated academic success and an interest in a career in finance. At the same time, we value humility and passion to learn more and contribute to the firm. We are looking for team players who are excited to join this unique program. It is a difficult job to get, but one that is very rewarding if you are given the opportunity to join.” 

  • “Looking for highly motivated, eager to learn, hardworking candidates with a positive attitude and strong technical skills—someone seeking two years of professional and restructuring training.” 

  • “Must be highly intelligent, driven, finance savvy, humble, and friendly.” 

Interview Questions

  • “1) A company chooses to buy back $400 million of its debt that is currently trading at 75 cents on the dollar. Please walk me through how this transaction would affect the three statements. 2) A bond is trading at 80 cents on the dollar. It has two years to maturity and the bond has a coupon of 10 percent. How would you approximate the yield to maturity? 3) A company is running out of cash. What sorts of actions might you advise a CFO to take?” 

  • “Difficult accounting and finance technical questions that require either an accounting/finance course of study or extensive outside preparation. Many questions were restructuring-specific, which would require having read extensively about the bankruptcy process, etc.”

Intern Experience

  • “Real deal-team exposure. Treated like an associate from the beginning and given real responsibility. Also, the people were great. Loved getting to know the people I was working with and knew it’d be a great place to work full time. But 10 weeks is such a short amount of time to get up-to-speed on any complicated restructuring. I was asked to assemble a pitch for a gaming firm, and it was so challenging. The situation was so complex and was overwhelming to try to get a good pitch together in the matter of a few weeks. The team was helpful, but it was a bit overwhelming to be asked to put together a pitch on such a difficult subject.” 

  • “Great meritocratic culture where hard work is rewarded. The group values accuracy and speed over staying in the office just for face time. Furthermore, superiors are extremely helpful and motivated to help interns learn and grow professionally. The lean deal teams also allows for a large amount of experience. I had a very busy deal that required an all-nighter or two, but even then, the experience was worth it.” 

  • “Blackstone does a tremendous job at giving interns the ‘real’ experience. As a summer associate, I played a significant role on a very active restructuring transaction. By my second day, I was meeting with the company’s CEO and CFO and potential investors. Assignment staffings were carefully managed to give summer interns as comprehensive an experience during the summer as possible. In addition, given the nature of restructurings, the experience allowed me to quickly grasp what was at stake for the company. This was more rewarding than my previous financial experiences. Lastly, during my summer internship, I was given the opportunity to be creative in thinking through potential deal structures and was exposed to the unique game theory of restructuring’s multi-party negotiations.” 

  • “Great deal flow, huge responsibility given to interns/analysts, very comfortable hours. Steep learning curve/huge degree of knowledge and skills expected from the start.” 

Career Development

  • “Blackstone’s analysts gain access to the most elite jobs in the financial industry. The training, responsibility, and experience that they receive during the analyst program are widely regarded. Blackstone’s senior professionals work with them in order to get them interviews and offers in the fields of their choice. Blackstone also provides opportunities to move from advisory analyst roles to buy-side opportunities in private equity, real estate, hedge funds, etc., within Blackstone. Blackstone associates are provided with a significant amount of responsibility and opportunities for leadership. Blackstone recognizes talent and supports individuals looking to make a career here.” 

  • “Everyone in the office is very transparent and direct about discussing your careers. Even if you are contemplating jobs in other industries, companies, or even graduate school, everyone is supportive and willing to help. Also, having Blackstone on my resume helped open a lot of doors for me.” 

  • “Career development at Blackstone is almost unmatched. The firm invests in its professionals and places its trust in talented performers regardless of their age. Many of the partners/MDs (including myself) joined Blackstone out of school and have been promoted to those levels at a relatively young age. The firm relies on its homegrown talent as it has expanded at a remarkable clip over the years. Many of my peers (in their late 30s/early 40s) hold important positions in the firm.” 

  • “Great mentoring. Strong promotion from within mentality. Focused on developing and retaining talent. People are given as much responsibility as they can handle. It is not uncommon for analysts to interact with CEOs of our clients.” 

Quality of Life

  • “Investment banking is demanding on anyone’s schedule. That said, Blackstone’s R&R [Restructuring & Reorganization] group cares about its analysts. There are a number of occasions in which associates have covered work for analysts so that they could do things that were personally important to them. That said, there are other times when work needs to get done and personal plans will get blown up. That’s the nature of the job. However, I know the R&R group does the best it can to balance that.” 

  • “More responsibility than other firms. Learn more with leaner deal teams and have the best exit opportunities on the street. Senior professionals are respectful of time and deadlines, and are interested in development/learning experience. Better hours than most places. But daylight hours can be incredibly busy; sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to grab lunch.” 

  • “People who join Blackstone are motivated to succeed, and the restructuring group aims to be the best in its field. We work hard to accomplish these goals. That said, Blackstone restructuring has a respectful culture and appreciates people’s work product and contribution, not just the number of hours that they work. The group takes pride in its culture and has formal and informal activities to promote it. The group also includes wives and family in activities in order to add to this tight culture.” 

  • “A lot of group events. Senior people promote having a strong team, and junior people appreciate having the leeway to schedule team drinks/dinners. Also, I like that the senior people in the group all have strong family lives, which makes it easier for the rest of us to pursue family lives of our own. However, working in a client facing industry means that we get asked for analysis when it is not necessarily convenient. Additionally, given that our deal teams are pretty lean, taking a full week off can be difficult. People try to respect vacations, but work cannot always be avoided on vacation.” 

Salary and Benefits

  • “Its great working for Blackstone. You get all sorts of random discounts at all the portfolio companies. Further, the company has partnerships with firms throughout the city. The health insurance/medical coverage is also great and affordable.” 

  • “Very strong compensation package with high cash compensation; opportunity to invest in Blackstone private equity funds and no fees, which is very rewarding.” 

  • “Benefits aren’t great—I wish there was 401(k) matching.” 

  • “Comp is highly competitive with other firms—in fact, it’s almost always better.” 

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

  • “Hard to have a lot of diversity because the firm is very small, and each group recruits max eight analysts a year. The culture is aggressively meritocratic, so there definitely aren’t extra barriers to diverse candidates, but there isn’t much of a focus on diversity recruiting besides women.” 

  • “Firm has made significant efforts to increase green practices such as getting rid of plastic water bottles and giving everyone reusable water bottles. Significant philanthropic practices through the Blackstone Charitable foundation, community services days, and other charities that the group and firm support.” 

  • “Blackstone maintains a very diverse work environment and is heavily involved in philanthropic organizations, encouraging junior banker involvement through benefits and networking events.” 

  • “The firm actively looks to identify the best talent. The firm has targeted outreach to diversity candidates, including a women’s leadership program.”

Business Outlook

  • “We’re all very excited about the coming spin/merge into PJT Partners. Our entire group is making the move, and the view appears to be unanimous that this will be a great opportunity to develop and grow the business.” 

  • “Blackstone and PJT both are at an exciting time. PJT will be separating from Blackstone and starting a new advisory business that should be elite in its fields. The same advisory businesses that were annually Vault leaders will now be combining with Paul Taubman’s firm that ranked highly in league tables with only a few employees. The firm will be quickly growing and defining its brand. At the same time, the restructuring group remains at the top of its field and will benefit from the years of debt financing that will lead to consistent interesting transactions. The Blackstone advisory business engenders strong employee morale by providing junior employees with significant responsibility and opportunity for growth.” 

  • “The group continues to maintain its No. 1 position within the restructuring field. The group has made a significant effort to focus on restructuring opportunities in the energy space in order to capture increased defaults that are likely to occur due to the decline in oil and gas commodity pricing. Significant market share in the energy space with over 10 assignments that include the largest and most complex energy companies, such as Samson Resources, Quicksilver, and Endeavour. Combination with PJT’s M&A franchise is likely to help develop further relationships and maintain group’s No. 1 ranking within the restructuring field.” 

  • “Great leadership that is respected within the firm as well as in the industry. Great to come to work knowing you’re working on the best deals and with the best people.”


345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
Phone: (212) 583-5000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: BX
Stock Exchange: NYSE
Chairman & CEO: Stephen A. Schwarzman

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