Joe Baratta is one of six executives at the asset management firm who are said to be the most likely to succeed current chief executive officer Stephen Schwartzman.
Baratta became The Blackstone Group’s global head of private equity in July, after just two years prior having been asked to lead the firm’s European private equity group.
The other possible successors are Jonathan Gray, the firm's global head of real estate; Bennett Goodman, co-founder of the credit business; Tom Hill, who runs the hedge funds group; Laurence Tosi, chief financial officer; and Joan Solotar, a senior managing director in the public markets group.
Blackstone declined to comment, but a source familiar with the matter said Schwartzman has no intention of retiring anytime soon, and that Tony James, Blackstone’s president and chief operating officer, is currently poised to succeed Schwartzman. However, the source said it was possible one of the six candidates would take the helm should Schwartzman and James both step down.
While at Blackstone, Baratta, 41, led the acquisitions of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Merlin Entertainments Group, Center Parcs and Spirit Group, as addition to other portfolio companies.
Schwarzman and Peter Peterson founded Blackstone in 1985. The firm has 22 offices worldwide and its private equity group manages around $47 billion in assets, according to its website.