Blackstone named a leader for its massive new infrastructure fund

Wind turbinesSteven Jackson/FlickrThe new unit raised an eye-popping $US20 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund alone.

The Blackstone Group has hired ex-General Electric exec Steve Bolze to help run its massive new infrastructure fund, the firm announced Friday.

Bolze, who worked at GE for 25 years and previously served as CEO of its $US28 billion power business, joins Blackstone as the head of portfolio operations and asset management for the new business, where he’ll help global head Sean Klimczak manage as much as $US100 billion in investing firepower for infrastructure projects.

The new unit raised an eye-popping $US20 billion in commitments from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in May and expects to attract another $US20 billion from other investors. The remainder would come from additional debt financing, Blackstone said.

Blackstone teased Bolze’s hiring during its 2nd-quarter earnings call in July.

When asked about hiring for the new business, Steve Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the $US371 billion asset manager, said the firm would be adding some outside hires, including “a world-class operating partner that I think will just knock the people’s socks off.”

At GE, Bolze managed global infrastructure investments, helping boost overall revenues 70% from $US16.5 billion to $US28 billion over the course of a decade, Blackstone said in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome Steve to Blackstone as we build out our team of best-in-class infrastructure professionals,” Schwarzman, who is an adviser to President Donald Trump, said in the statement. He added, “We believe that these investments will play a vital role in helping the United States rebuild its ageing infrastructure and know Steve’s extensive expertise will contribute greatly to that effort.”

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