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Jon Gray: Paragon of Virtue or Party-Pooper?

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Is it really true that there isn't going to be any closing dinner for the Blackstone acquisition of Equity Office Properties? That's what this profile of Blackstone hot shot Jon Gray suggests. We knew the team at Blackstone was already busy unloading some of the biggest properties but no celebration at all? There were lots of people doing a lot of work on that deal. And bonuses are a long way off. Things like deal dinners are usually a not bad way to keep the troops happy and make your people feel appreciated. Besides, at the tender age of thirty-seven, Gray seems a bit young to have totally foregone the pleasure of a good party. Maybe he's just waiting to the sell-off to throw the party.
There's a lot more of interest in the Bloomberg profile of Gray. First, he refused to comment for the article which (a) makes us feel better about the fact that nobody in his office returned our call and (b) makes us worry about him. Or, rather, it makes us worry about everyone else. If Gray can't grow a giant ego by closing the Biggest Deal Ever, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Second, Gray's background is almost sickeningly admirable. While he does come from finance blood and breeding—his father was an investment adviser and his step-father an executive at an investment bank, he majored in economics and English at Penn. Not finance. And that English degree means he actually went to Penn, not Whartonjust Wharton. [Note: Several readers insist he did go to Wharton. So note the correction.]
So how did the lad do so well? Gray seems to have started very early at Blackstone. So that finance blood and breeding, plus the Econ degree, seemed to have paid off. His wedding announcement lists the private equity shop as his employer in 1995, when he was just 25. (Another sign of almost dangerous-sounding virtue: early and only marriage.) A mere five years later he was a senior managing director.
So, yes. Jon Gray is simply a better person than you are. Deal with it.
(As a sucker-prize, though, you may in fact know how to party better than Gray. You just have to do it with less money.)

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