Blackstone Heads Dominate Fortune Best-Paid List

The combined 2007 salaries of Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, Pete Peterson, and Tony James are greater than the GDP of some small countries like Grenada, East Timor, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Palau.

Thanks to Blackstone’s 2007 IPO, the firm’s three founders cashed in handsomely last year. Going public also means compensation disclosure, so the Blackstone boys rocketed to the top of the Fortune “25 Highest-paid men” chart. Schwarzman and Peterson took numbers one and two, with a respective $350.7 million and $174.3 million. James clocked in sixth with $98.7 million.

He was beat by Station Casinos’ Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, along with Alltel’s Scott Ford. And take a look at those three gentlemen: They were senior management at companies that sold to PE! The Fertittas of Station Casinos sold to Colony Capital. Alltell sold to TPG and GS Capital Partners.

It’ll be interesting to see how this chart looks in the coming year or two if KKR and Apollo follow through with their plans to go public. If the 2008 and 2009 charts show private equity players dominating the highest paid charts, we might see and even greater shift in talent from the public market to the private realm.

I also want to note that this list came out as a comparison to Fortune’s “25 Highest-paid women” list, which is disgustingly lower than the men’s. The top lady was paid $312.1 million less than the top man. Regardless of specific people and companies, until this list is even remotely comparable, the discussion about equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace is not over.

Here’s the top ten:

1. Schwarzman ($350.7 million)
2. Peterson $(174.3 million)
3. Frank Fertitta III (Station Casinos $146.6 million)
4. Lorenzo Fertitta (Station Casinos $145.4 million)
5. Scott Ford (Alltel $141.7 million)
6. James ($98.7)
7. Larry Ellison (Oracle $84.6 million)
8. John Thain (Merrill Lynch $83.8 million)
9. Nelson Peltz (Triarc $73 million)
10. James Moffett (Freepart McMoRan Copper & Gold $68.3 million)

Photo credit: Deal Journal