BlackRock Inc. (BLK) announced Monday that it has added private equity to its stable of alternative offerings with the addition of a team led by recent veterans of Bank of America’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.
The BAML Global Private Equity executives joining BlackRock include Nathan Thorne, George Bitar and Mandy Puri. All three have joined as managing directors and form the leadership team of the BlackRock Global Private Equity platform, which is expected to include approximately 20 professionals within the next year, according to a BlackRock news release.
The three executives were co-founders of BAML Global Private Equity. Thorne was chairman and president, Puri was chief investment officer and Bitar was co-head of North America.
They will report to Matthew Botein, managing director and head of BlackRock Alternative Investors. As of March 31, BAI represented $115.3 billion of assets under management and included the firm's hedge funds, hedge funds of funds, real estate, private equity funds of funds, opportunistic investment vehicles, commodities and currencies. As of March 31, BlackRock’s total assets under management were $3.65 trillion.
"BlackRock looked at a great number of opportunities as we sought a leadership team that could substantially accelerate our entry into this business, with a focus on identifying a team with a proven record of disciplined private equity investing," Botein said in a statement. “Equally important, however, we needed a team that knew how to navigate and leverage the sourcing, diligence and financing advantages presented by being a part of a financial institution with the global footprint and operational scale of BlackRock. We found that in this team.”
Monday’s announcement culminates a number of transactions recently made between BlackRock and Bank of America, with BlackRock—already the world’s largest money manager—clearly using the deals to move from strength to strength.