The New York-based company has named Chris Blunt to be a senior managing director and chief executive officer of Blackstone Insurance Solutions.
Blackstone already manages about $385 billion in assets for clients of all kinds, and $22 billion for Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a major player in the U.S. individual annuity market.
Blackstone Insurance Solutions is a new unit that will manage insurers’ investment portfolios.
The unit will also offer life insurers’ alternatives to publicly traded corporate bonds.
Traditionally, life insurers have invested a majority of their assets in bonds from companies with high ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. Today, life insurers are looking for other types of investments, such as mortgages, mortgage-backed securities and securities backed by assets other than mortgages, because rates on high-grade, publicly traded corporate bonds are so low.
Tony James, Blackstone’s president, said in a statement about the Blunt hire that Blunt has the insurance industry experience to help insurers cope with a “perfect storm of significant policyholder obligations and declining investment returns in the public markets.”