Fortune ranks and rates today's leading private-equity firms.
1. The Blackstone Group
CEO Steve A. Schwarzman
1. The Blackstone Group
Recent buyout fundraising: $23 billion

Description: Since opening its doors with $400,000 in 1985, Blackstone has become known for sharp elbows and sharper deals. Witness its $3.8 billion buyout of Celanese in 2004: The firm put in $650 million in equity and almost immediately recouped $500 million with a junkbond offering. Or the way it unloaded $13 billion worth of buildings in its recent $38.9 billion buyout of Equity Office Partners before the ink was dry on the deal. As a hedge against a cyclical downturn in private equity, co-founder and CEO Steve A. Schwarzman has diversified the firm into hedge funds, distressed debt, asset management, and oh, yes, real estate. Moreover, the 60-year-old designated CSFB alum Hamilton "Tony" James president and his de facto successor in 2004.

Boldface advisors: Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

Fun Fact: Co-founder Pete Peterson counts Alan Greenspan and Henry Kravis as golf buddies.

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Wall Street's man of the moment With a history-making deal and a headline-making birthday party, Steve Schwarzman has become the symbol of a new era in finance. (more)
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.