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Blackstone reshuffles RE team

The New York-based private equity giant has designated Jonathan Gray as its sole global head of real estate as Chad Pike dedicates more time to Blackstone's entire European platform.

The Blackstone Group has realigned its real estate team as the alternative asset manager looks to increase its focus on Europe. Chad Pike, formerly the co-head of global real estate for Blackstone, has assumed a new role as vice chairman of Blackstone Europe, where he will focus more of his time on the strategic direction and growth of the firm's entire business in the region. Blackstone declined to comment.

As a result of the shift, Jonathan Gray, based at Blackstone’s New York headquarters, becomes the sole global head of real estate, while Kenneth Caplan will now head the firm’s real estate operations for Europe, taking over some of Pike’s previous day-to-day management and administrative duties. Christopher Heady remains Blackstone’s Asia head of real estate.

Pike will continue to focus most of his time on real estate, identifying opportunities for both a new tactical opportunities mandate, as well as Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, the firm’s latest global real estate opportunity fund, which is targeting at least $10 billion in equity commitments.  He also will remain on the firm’s real estate investment committee. 

The State of New Jersey is the first investor in the globally-focused tactical opportunities mandate, and has set up two separate accounts with Blackstone to “invest in time-sensitive or opportunistic ideas across asset classes and geographies. Targeted investment opportunities will not fall within any of Blackstone's existing fund mandates and have varying expected holding periods,” according to the state's summary on the separate accounts. In a strategic relationship announced in December, the pension fund agreed to commit up to $1 billion to the two accounts, BX-NJ Tactical Private Equity Opportunities and BX-NJ Tactical Real Assets Opportunities.

Pike, who is based in London, joined Blackstone in 1995 and has overseen the acquisition of more than $20 billion of assets in the US, Europe and Asia by Blackstone’s real estate funds.