Blackstone Group Inc. has hired Joe Dowling, the former chief executive of Brown University’s endowment, as co-head of its $78 billion hedge-fund business.
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Mr. Dowling will join John McCormick in leading the business. Mr. McCormick has led Blackstone’s hedge-fund unit since January 2018. Mr. Dowling will focus on investing and Mr. McCormick on its business and investor functions. For Blackstone, the hire signals a new focus on hedge funds as big generators of return, with Mr. Dowling expected to focus on thematic investing including in growth and technology-focused hedge funds.
Blackstone is the world’s biggest investor in hedge funds. It backs new hedge funds, invests in and alongside funds, buys minority stakes in alternative investment firms and runs internal hedge funds.
Its main fund-of-hedge-funds product has been relatively slow to embrace tech-focused hedge funds and those betting on both public and private companies, taking a more conservative approach that positions hedge funds as a replacement for bonds.
“What particularly attracted me was he was very forward-thinking looking at tech and growth and life sciences,” Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president, said of Mr. Dowling. “To the world we’ve said we want to be more thematic and more forward-thinking. There was a kinship to where we were heading.”
Blackstone manages $584 billion firmwide, including across private equity, real estate and credit. It has set a goal of achieving $1 trillion in assets by 2026, and expanding into growth-focused investments across its business segments has been a key strategy to help it get there. Click for more at WSJ.com