Tony James, the chief operating officer and second in command of Blackstone, is weighing up whether to leave the American investment monolith to take up a senior position in a future US government, it was reported yesterday.
Sources told Reuters that the 63-year-old James had not revealed when or whether he will leave the world’s largest alternative asset manager, with his resignation far from a foregone conclusion.
However, it is believed that James – an avid Democrat – has been quietly prepping for his departure, grooming possible successors within the company.
President Barack Obama offered James the role of commerce secretary when he reshuffled his cabinet two years ago, the sources revealed. James turned down the offer because he wanted the job of treasury secretary or national economic adviser.
James now wants in on Hillary Clinton’s ticket, who is expected to seek election in 2016, but believes his chances of bagging a cabinet role are slim because he is not as close to Clinton as he was with Obama.
Blackstone declined to comment when contacted by City A.M..
Deputy to chief executive Stephen Schwarzman, James overseas the day-to-day operations of the New York-based Blackstone, which has $300bn (£191bn) in assets under management across real estate, private equity, alternative credit and hedge fund investments.