Blackstone moves Chae to Asia

In his new Hong Kong-based position, Michael Chae will oversee Blackstone's relationships with investors in the region.

The Blackstone Group last week appointed Michael Chae as head of private equity in Asia, based in Hong Kong.

This is a newly created position at Blackstone and will see Chae take charge of the private-equity firm's relationships with its limited partners in Asia-Pacific. Ben Jenkins will continue to drive private-equity transactions throughout the region. Antony Leung remains Blackstone’s chairman for Greater China and is also joining the firm’s executive committee.

“As our business continues to globalise, Asia is becoming ever more central to the firm. The region is of strategic importance to us in terms of both the extraordinary investment opportunities and the critical role that Asian institutions are playing in our funds,” said Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I am delighted that Michael will head our business there and, under his leadership, we will be better positioned than ever to capture an ever-growing number of opportunities.”

Chae joined Blackstone in 1997 and is currently a senior managing director. Investments he has led at Blackstone include Nielsen, Michaels Stores, The Weather Channel Companies and Hilton Hotels.

Blackstone has been increasing its presence across products in Asia. Last year the firm announced that it would raise a renminbi-denominated private-equity fund in partnership with the Shanghai Pudong Government.

In November an agreement was reached between Blackstone and Bank of America Merrill Lynch whereby Blackstone has agreed to manage more than $2 billion of real estate assets owned by former funds of BoA Merrill. The financial terms of the deal were withheld by both parties. The portfolio, which was created by Merrill Lynch, consists of assets spread across Asia, with the majority located in Japan, China, India and South Korea. Bank of America took a decision after acquiring Merrill Lynch that the real estate assets in Asia were not core to its strategy for the region. Jonathan Gray and Chad Pike, co-heads of Blackstone’s real estate group, said last month that the BoA Merrill assets represent a significant opportunity for Blackstone, which is the largest opportunistic real estate investor in the US and Europe.

Blackstone currently has 157 employees in Asia, with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Mumbai.

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