Blackstone sets up impact investment platform, hires Goldman banker
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Blackstone Group LP has formed an impact investing platform and recruited Goldman Sachs banker Tanya Barnes to head the new venture, the world’s biggest alternative assets manager said.

The platform will be part of the firm’s Strategic Partners group, Blackstone said in a statement.

It will seek to deliver positive financial impact and address four specific investment themes— health and wellbeing, financial access, sustainable communities and green technologies, the PE firm said.

Blackstone joins a few other bulge-bracket PE firms which have launched impact investment platforms. TPG was the earliest PE firm to launch an impact investment platform, The Rise Fund, in 2016. However, the firm’s impact investment head was caught in a scandal earlier this year and left the fund.

KKR also has an impact investment platform which focusses on businesses that make a positive social or environmental impact. Earlier this year, the PE firm and the KKR Global Impact fund jointly invested in environmental services provider Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd.

Blackstone said its impact platform will leverage the Strategic Partners group’s expertise across PE, real estate and infrastructure segments by partnering with external impact managers focused on developed markets, as well as other investing businesses within the firm.

The initiative will build on Blackstone’s previous investments in impact themes, and on the Strategic Partners group’s sourcing capabilities and partnerships with investment managers, the firm said.

“As a firm, we seek to deliver value for our investors while also having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate,” said Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president and COO. “The impact platform is an exciting growth area and a natural extension of our business. We look forward to meeting the growing demand for impact investments.”

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