Blackstone's Schwarzman heading to Paris: source

NEW YORK Sat Dec 4, 2010 1:52pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blackstone Group's (BX.N) high-profile chief executive and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman is temporarily moving to Paris, a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Schwarzman planned to move temporarily to Europe as the private equity firm grows increasingly global -- but the precise location was a mystery.

New York-based Schwarzman, who made billions building up Blackstone, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, will move to Paris in January and likely stay for three to six months, the source said.

Schwarzman has close ties to France. He knows French President Nicolas Sarkozy well, the source said. He was awarded the Legion d'honneur by former French President Jacques Chirac, according to Blackstone's website.

Blackstone has an office in the center of Paris, close to the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries.

The move is to help Schwarzman manage the travel demands of running a company that has offices and investments around the world, while bridging Asian and U.S. time zones.

Blackstone has 17 offices around the world in locations such as Shanghai, Mumbai, London and Dusseldorf.

The company recently raised a $15 billion private equity fund, a significant part of which likely will be invested in Asia. It is also raising a yuan-denominated fund for China.

In addition, a significant number of the investors in Blackstone's funds are based overseas.

Schwarzman has various properties in the United States and has a summer home in the South of France.

(Editing by Bill Trott)

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