Blackstone moves top executive to Asia

BLACKSTONE Group has moved one of its most senior executives to Hong Kong to take the helm of its Asian private equity business to increase its focus on the high-growth region.

Michael Chae, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s New York arm, will take up the newly-created position.

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman said the move reflects Blackstone’s “growing commitment” to Asia.

“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,” he said in a press release.

Chae joined Blackstone in 1997 and has led its investments into firms including Nielsen, Michaels Stores, The Weather Channel Companies, and Hilton Hotels.

He had previously worked at rival buyout firm Carlyle.

He will take responsibility for Blackstone's relationships with investors in the region.

China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign wealth fund, has about a 10 per cent stake in Blackstone.

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

Blackstone has invested in companies in the region including Bluestar Chemical, Dili, eMobile and China Animal Healthcare, it said.

It is also raising a Chinese renminbi-denominated private equity fund.