8. The Blackstone Group
Background: Blackstone (BX) became a public company in June 2007 when it raised $4.8 billion in its much talked-about IPO. Blackstone's IPO was controversial because it was one of the largest private equity firms to look to the public markets for capital amid a so-called frothy market that was starting to show signs of trouble and ultimately led to a global recession. As well, a bulk of the IPO proceeds went to Blackstone's founders, including co-founder and chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman.