Jonathan D. Gray
Jonathan D. Gray (born February 4, 1970) is an American billionaire and the president and chief operating officer of Blackstone Group, a New York-based asset management firm. He also serves as chairman of Hilton Worldwide.
Jonathan D. Gray
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
|Occupation||President and COO, The Blackstone Group|
Chairman, Hilton Worldwide
|Net worth||US$2.8 billion (January 2019)|
|Spouse(s)||Mindy Basser Gray|
Born in Highland Park, Illinois. His father Allen Gray was an investment adviser and owned a small auto parts manufacturer on the West Side of Chicago (coincidentally named Blackstone Manufacturing); his mother Susan, remarried to his stepfather James Florsheim, ran a catering business. His parents divorced when he was young. In 1992, Gray graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) magna cum laude with a B.A. in English from the School of Arts & Sciences and a B.S. from the Wharton School. He was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
In 1992, Gray joined Blackstone's mergers and acquisitions and private equity group, and was offered a position in the company's newly formed real estate private equity group shortly thereafter. He was made co-head of the real estate group in 2005 and named global head of real estate in 2011.
Today, Blackstone's real estate business is the largest opportunistic real estate investment manager in the world with $111 billion of investor capital under management, which includes a $16 billion global real estate fund and a $9 billion European fund.
As global head of real estate, Gray oversees a diverse portfolio including hotel, office, retail, industrial, and residential properties in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Major holdings include Hilton Worldwide, Equity Office Properties, Invitation Homes, Logicor, and the leading owner of office space in India. Gray currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Hilton Worldwide, which went public in December 2013. Blackstone's investment in Hilton was profiled in a September 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek cover story. Gray was named in Fortune's "40 under 40," in 2009. In 2016, he ranked #1 on Commercial Observer's "Power 100" ranking of the most powerful people in New York City real estate.
In 2008, Gray led the firm's efforts in establishing Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies (BREDS), provider of high yield debt capital. In 2013, BREDS launched Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT) to provide first mortgage debt capital to real estate borrowers.
In November 2016, it was reported that Gray was under consideration as Treasury Secretary for the incoming presidential administration of Donald Trump.
In February 2018, it was announced that Gray would become president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, replacing Hamilton "Tony" James.
The Gray Foundation was launched in 2014 with two distinct missions: Accelerating research, improving treatment and raising awareness for individuals who have inherited BRCA mutations; and maximizing access to education, healthcare and opportunity for low-income youth in New York City.
Gray serves on the board of The Trinity School, as well as on the board of Harlem Village Academies, a group of charter schools in New York City. Gray recently donated $10 million to purchase a building in northern Manhattan which will serve as the organization's second elementary school.
In May 2012, Gray and his wife, Mindy Gray, founded the Basser Research Center, named in honor of Mindy's sister, Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at age 44. The Grays donated $25 million to create the Basser Research Center, which focuses on cancer prevention, treatment, and research of BRCA-related, genetically-inherited cancers. This donation also established the Basser Global Prize, honoring cutting-edge cancer research. In January 2014, the Basser Research Center announced an additional $5 million gift from the couple to fund an external research grant program. Town & Country (magazine) noted this work in its "Top Philanthropists of 2016" feature, in which the Grays were included.
In November 2016, The New York Times reported on a $10 million donation from the Grays to finance a pilot program that creates college savings accounts for thousands of New York City public school kindergartners. In May 2017, the Grays announced they would be donating $21 million to the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania, bringing their total pledges to the initiative to $55 million.
In 1995, Gray married Mindy Basser at Temple Beth Zion Israel in Philadelphia; the ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Ira F. Stone. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their four daughters, Margo, Emma, Stella, and Tess. In August 2013, Bloomberg estimated his net worth at just over $1.0 billion due to his owning 40.6 million Blackstone shares valued at $913 million combined with over $120 million in bonuses and salary.
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- New York Observer: "Jonathan Gray, Blackstone's Real Estate Wizard Behind the Curtain" By Matt Chaban August 17, 2011
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- Grant, Peter (2017-06-08). "Blackstone Group Raises €7.8 Billion for European Property Fund". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
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- "Investment strategy: The new property barons". Ft.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27. (subscription required)
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- "Power 100". Commercial Observer. 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- Hui-Yong Yu. "Trump Said to Discuss Treasury Post With Blackstone's Gray". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Blackstone's Homegrown Dealmaker Finally Makes It to the Top". Bloomberg.com. 2018-02-13. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- "Gray Foundation". www.grayfoundation.org. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- "Board". Harlem Village Academies. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Basser Center for BRCA – Abramson Cancer Center". Penncancer.org. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Blackstone's Gray Becomes Billionaire Amid Property Wager". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "The 2013 Basser Global Prize - Bassser Research Center for BRCA -Penn Medicine". archive.org. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- "Penn Medicine's Basser Research Center for BRCA Announces Additional $5 Million Gift from Mindy and Jon Gray to Fund External Research Grant Program". January 13, 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Menza, Kaitlin (2016-05-11). "The T&C 50: The Top Philanthropists of 2016". Townandcountrymag.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "New York Seeks to Jump-Start College Savings by Giving Cash to Kindergartners' Parents". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Blackstone's Gray Gives $21 Million to Hit Cancer Close to Home". Bloomberg.com. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
- "WEDDINGS - Mindy Basser, Jonathan D. Gray". The New York Times. 1995-07-02. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "The 2016 New Establishment List". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-12-27.