• August 17, 2023
  • 3 minutes read

Blue Owl Capital Feud Ends With Big Payday

An internal leadership feud at Blue Owl Capital (NYSE: OWL), a thriving Wall Street firm, has ended with a sizeable…

Blue Owl Capital logo

An internal leadership feud at Blue Owl Capital (NYSE: OWL), a thriving Wall Street firm, has ended with a sizeable payday for Michael Rees, the executive at the center of the feud.

According to recent SEC filings, Rees has amended his employment agreement with Blue Owl to clarify his role at the firm. The agreement puts him firmly in charge of Blue Owl’s GP Strategic Capital division, responsible for buying minority stakes in private equity firms and hedge funds. The division also has small debt financing and sports-team-minority-interest businesses.

Under the amended agreement, Rees is entitled to a quarterly bonus currently set at $8.5mn. The bonus figure could fluctuate depending on how much money Rees makes for Blue Owl and could increase significantly as his division grows.

Rees will receive his quarterly bonus in Blue Owl shares through 2025.

  • Blue Owl was formed in 2021 by the merger of two investment firms, Owl Rock Capital Group and Dyal Capital Partners. The combined group debuted on the public markets by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).


  • Michael Rees founded Dyal Capital in 2011 as an experimental division of asset manager Neuberger Berman. Dyal focused on buying minority stakes in well-heeled private equity firms and hedge funds.


  • Owl Rock was founded in 2016 by Marc Lipschultz and Doug Ostrover. Their firm focused on direct lending to middle-market companies, referring to companies whose annual sales lie between $10mn and $1bn.

The 2021 merger combined Dyal Capital and Owl Rock into one company, making Rees a billionaire due to his stake in the publicly-traded firm. The merger seemed like a marriage of convenience for two companies not diversified or large enough to go public on their own.

Cultural differences fermented after the merger and caused a rift between Dyal’s and Owl Rock’s teams. Ostrover and Lipschultz reportedly pressured Rees to resign, which he refused. Lipschultz had been co-president with Rees while Ostrover served as chief executive. But in May, Lipschultz was elevated to co-chief executive alongside Ostrover, and Rees remained co-president. To make things worse, two other people were promoted to co-president alongside Rees.

The amended employment agreement smoothens things out at Blue Owl. Rees will be firmly in charge of the company’s strategic capital division, while Ostrover and Lipschultz will oversee the company’s direct lending and real estate divisions. Rees will remain co-President but will get sizeable quarterly bonuses to keep him happy alongside his significant ownership in the company.


  • $34mn a year seems like a fair price to keep the peace at a company whose current market value is over $15bn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *