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Blackstone Lunges for Retail Investors

January 30, 2019

Private equity giant Blackstone Group is on an ambitious path to quadruple client assets in its private wealth group, according to news reports.

Helmed by former banking analyst Joan Solotar, Blackstone’s private wealth group has already amassed $58 billion, according to Bloomberg. The unit is now focusing on luring investors “with as little as $1 million to $5 million in assets,” the news service writes.

Blackstone’s platform, which typically targets large institutional investors such as sovereign wealth funds and large pension plans, hasn’t been available to such investors before, according to Bloomberg.

Some of the firm’s investment vehicles will now require a minimum investment of just $2,500, the news service writes.

“We are a very competitive place,” Solotar tells Bloomberg. “Unless you have the scale we have, it would be hard to replicate the effort.”

Solotar has a 130-member team that will peddle Blackstone’s retail products through private banks, family offices and independent wealth advisors, the news service writes. In August, the unit had just 100 employees.

The company also now has around a dozen retail funds aimed at high net worth investors and families, including an unlisted real estate trust, according to Bloomberg.

Attracting retail investors may prove difficult as they’re not as comfortable with private equity and long-term investment horizons, combined with the higher fees that they require, the news service writes.

Blackstone is trying to overcome the hurdle by working directly with investment advisors and now offers two-day courses on its asset classes through its education platform, according to Bloomberg.

The private-wealth group push is part of a broader strategy to grow the $457 billion in assets Blackstone currently manages overall to $1 trillion by 2026, according to the news service.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here.