Any regrets about the now-infamous birthday party, Steve?
That was the question asked by Fortune Magazine’s Andy Serwer at an intimate breakfast gathering at posh New York restaurant Per Se.
For those that have forgotten, Schwarzman’s 60th birthday party on Valentine’s Day in 2007, to which hundreds of guests were invited, featured British rocker Rod Stewart, comedian Martin Short, singer Patti LaBelle, two Harlem choirs and a marching band. It came to symbolize an era of excess — memories that some would now rather forget. Months later, the financial crisis hit and Blackstone’s stock plummeted. It is currently about a quarter of its June 2007 IPO price.
“Obviously, I wouldn’t have wanted to do that and become some kind of symbol of that period of time — who would ever wish that on themselves? No one,” said Schwarzman, when asked if he’d do it again.
Lazard’s Bruce Wasserstein, being interviewed by Fortune alongside Schwarzman, chimed in: “It was a great party”.
Schwarzman noted that his 61st birthday this year was muted. “61 is just fine. You notice it was quiet,” he said.