HAMILTON JAMES, BLACKSTONE GROUP: Trying to Loosen Things Up

HAMILTON JAMES BLACKSTONE GROUP

Executives' walls are being replaced with glass panels at the Park Avenue headquarters of the Blackstone Group, one of the U.S.'s premier private investment and advisory firms. That's because Hamilton James, 52, who stepped into the firm's No. 3 position a year ago from Credit Suisse First Boston, wants to encourage "openness and connection, that we're all in this together"--the kind of culture he remembers from his 25 years at investment firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Blackstone is a powerhouse, with $14 billion raised for private-equity investment, including a recent move into the pub division of British beermaker Scottish & Newcastle....

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