Departing GE Executive Steve Bolze Joins Blackstone's New Infrastructure Unit

By Ryan Dezember and Thomas Gryta Features Dow Jones Newswires

Steve Bolze, a General Electric Co. executive who announced his departure in June, is joining Blackstone Group LP to help run its new infrastructure-investing business.

Continue Reading Below

Mr. Bolze, 54 years old, worked at GE for nearly 25 years, including 11 as head of its power business. He said upon his departure from GE that he would leave in October after being passed over for the chief executive job, which went to another longtime GE executive, John Flannery.

In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Bolze said he plans to join Blackstone in mid-October as head of portfolio operations and asset management in the Wall Street firm's infrastructure group. He will report to Blackstone deal maker Sean Klimczak, who was recently tapped to launch the biggest new business line in the firm's 32-year history.

Mr. Klimczak called Mr. Bolze "a world-class operator who we know will hit the ground running."

Blackstone in May unveiled plans for a $40 billion infrastructure investment fund, after Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund said it would seed the Blackstone fund with $20 billion. The Saudi commitment alone is larger than any existing infrastructure fund.

Blackstone executives have said they plan to start raising the rest of the money later this year and could begin investing in early 2018. The fund would have a buying power of about $100 billion once debt is added to the mix.

Continue Reading Below

"It's going to be able to play at a scale that others haven't seen yet," Mr. Bolze said.

In hiring Mr. Bolze, Blackstone has made a hire befitting its ambitions. After joining in 1993, the triathlete rose through the ranks at GE to become the head of the company's largest unit. He helped GE make more than 10 times its money on its 2005 purchase of Enron Corp.'s wind-power business, shepherded high-efficiency turbines to market and pushed for the acquisition of Alstom SA's power business. As head of GE's power business, Mr. Bolze traveled the world, selling GE's services and the turbines it builds. He also held various leadership roles within GE's health-care unit.

Hospitals, power plants and wind farms all figure to be in the mix at Blackstone, where Mr. Bolze will not only help source and vet potential investments, but will also work with executives at each company or project in which the infrastructure fund invests.

Write to Ryan Dezember at ryan.dezember@wsj.com and Thomas Gryta at thomas.gryta@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2017 19:14 ET (23:14 GMT)