Exclusive: Blackstone makes key regional hires to tap Asia's growing wealth
Blackstone - one of the world’s largest private market investors - has added fresh hires to its private wealth solutions team in Hong Kong and Singapore in a bid to further tap the region’s high net worth individuals (HNWI) in real estate and private credit investing.
With the Asia Pacific region currently accounting for 42%, or $218 trillion, of total global wealth, according to a recent McKinsey report, Blackstone's expansion aims to tap this robust growth, expanding its team in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai to 30 people over the past three years.
Blackstone is eyeing Greater China, Southeast Asia and Japan as pilot markets, which it sees as strong wealth management hubs with high demand.
To expand offerings in these markets, the firm recently hired Catherine Ow, who joined Blackstone’s private wealth solutions marketing team in Singapore as managing director.
She was previously Wellington Management’s Asia Pacific marketing director for more than five years.
Ow will report to both Herbert Suen, senior managing director and head of Asia Pacific of the private wealth solutions group, based in Singapore, and Catherine McNulty, managing director for private wealth solutions marketing, based in New York.
In the new role, Ow will oversee Blackstone’s marketing efforts across the region and work closely with all senior leaders to deliver the firm’s alternative solutions to individual investors, provide ongoing support to financial advisors and their clients through education and training programmes, a spokesperson for Blackstone told AsianInvestor.
“The growth of Blackstone’s private wealth solutions team in Asia signifies the increasing demand that we see from individual investors in the region to access alternative investments – in our view, investors are increasingly looking to diversify their portfolios and tap into private market investing,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Samantha Lin has joined the private wealth solutions team in a newly created junior role.
Based in Hong Kong, Lin joined from Franklin Templeton’s sales team, where she worked for more than six years and was most recently vice president, financial institutions. AsianInvestor covered her departure in early May.
Alongside Lin, Blackstone also welcomed Corey Ho to the private wealth solutions team in a newly created junior role in April. He’s also based in Hong Kong. Ho was responsible for private bank sales with Goldman Sachs Asset Management for more than two years until March.
Both Lin and Ho will report to Erin Yam, the managing director of the private wealth solutions group. Also based in Hong Kong, Yam leads the group’s private wealth solutions business and relationships with financial institutions that the firm partners with in the Greater China region.
Back in 2020, Blackstone also hired Kaoru Fujita as managing director and head of private wealth solutions Japan from Fidelity.
“Greater China and Japan are markets where we’ve built a strong presence across Blackstone’s other investment businesses, mainly real estate and private equity, over the last over 15 years,” the firm said.
With $915 billion of assets under management as of March 31, Blackstone is one of the world’s largest private market investors. It will continue to grow the private wealth solutions team in Asia but doesn’t have a specific target or plan on new hirings, the firm told AsianInvestor.
REAL ESTATE AND PRIVATE CREDIT FOCUS
The private wealth solutions team currently focuses on introducing private real estate and private credit strategies to retail investors all the way to ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
“Alternatives investments such as private real estate and private credit have historically demonstrated lower correlation to stocks and bonds, which is significant in today’s inflationary and rising interest rates environment,” the spokesperson said.
It has seen strong demand from Asian investors in real estate strategies that generate stabilised and long-term income, and later developed private credit strategy.
The firm partners with financial institutions in the region to develop solutions, allowing more individual investors to have access to its global strategies specifically in private real estate and private credit.
Blackstone has a commercial real estate portfolio of $550 billion globally. Meanwhile, its private credit portfolio runs $230 billion worth of assets.
In the private real estate space, its high conviction sectors include logistics and residential, which have favourable fundamentals and are benefiting from secular tailwinds. It also favours logistics as it continues to benefit from the e-commerce revolution, while rental housing is another sector where it sees demand continuing to outpace supply.
On private credit, Blackstone prefers senior secured, floating rate private loans that can potentially benefit from this rising interest rate environment.
“We’ve found that combining these strategies with a semi-liquid, open-ended structure, which allows regular subscriptions (monthly), flexibility for redemptions, plus a potential monthly income distribution, has resonated well with individual investors in Asia,” the spokesperson said.
To expand the credit business in Asia, Blackstone on Monday (May 30) appointed industry veteran Mark Glengarry to the newly created role as head of Asia Pacific origination for Blackstone Credit from US private equity firm Anchorage Capital Group. Glengarry is based in Sydney.
Blackstone Credit will hire more people to build out the team across the region to expand its presence but there are no specific targets on roles or cities, the firm told AsianInvestor.