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Blackstone just hired an Amazon Web Services exec who helped the cloud giant do M&A. It’s the latest sign that big private-equity firms are muscling in on specialty tech investors’ turf.


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Blackstone just hired an Amazon Web Services exec who helped the cloud giant do M&A. It’s the latest sign that big private-equity firms are muscling in on specialty tech investors’ turf.

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman Reuters This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Private-equity giant Blackstone just hired an Amazon Web Services exec in an effort to scout out tech deals.Christine Feng, a director in corporate development at AWS, joins Blackstone as senior managing director, three months…

Blackstone just hired an Amazon Web Services exec who helped the cloud giant do M&A. It’s the latest sign that big private-equity firms are muscling in on specialty tech investors’ turf.

Blackstone Group CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schwarzman speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York, U.S., November 6, 2019.  REUTERS/Gary HeBlackstone Group CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schwarzman speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York, U.S., November 6, 2019.  REUTERS/Gary He Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman

Reuters


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  • Private-equity giant Blackstone appropriate hired an Amazon Net Services exec in declare to scout out tech offers.
  • Christine Feng, a director in corporate style at AWS, joins Blackstone as senior managing director, three months after Blackstone poached one other tech-centered dealmaker, Vini Letteri, from KKR. Both team of workers the firm’s San Francisco put of residing of work.
  • Blackstone’s chief operating officer of tactical alternatives, Chris James, laid out why the firm is doubling down on tech, an space that is confirmed resilient all the way thru the pandemic. 
  • Reveal to Industry Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Private-equity giant The Blackstone Neighborhood has hired a dealmaker from Amazon Net Services to scout out tech alternatives in Northern California, in a signal that Wall Road’s colossal investors are taking a look to raised compete in an space traditionally dominated by strong level avid gamers. 

Of the total industries which had been slammed by the pandemic, tech is one which’s stayed somewhat resilient, and private-equity executives dangle suggested Industry Insider to place an exclaim to to eye a higher focal level on investing there, specifically in application corporations.

Chris James, chief operating officer of Blackstone’s tactical alternatives crew a unit designed to rapidly deploy capital in special eventualities — shared with Industry Insider that the firm has brought onboard Christine Feng, a director in corporate style at AWS who previously labored in a identical characteristic at Microsoft.

“We are aggressively rising our Northern California presence,” acknowledged James, calling Feng a “key anchor.”

At AWS, Feng used to be liable for mergers and acquisitions, from sourcing to execution. And at Microsoft, where she labored between 2010 and 2016, she held one other dealmaking space as a senior member of its corporate style team, executing acquisitions and divestitures across all of Microsoft’s industry objects, essentially essentially based totally on her biography. 

James acknowledged that Blackstone had approved the gap toward the cease of final year, pre-COVID, and that the firm had sought to add an executive with skills and relationships within the tech community, which might perhaps well translate to deal origination and execution.

“Unnecessary to yell, the tech sector is somewhat nice and rising and there is nothing that is now not touched by skills,” James acknowledged. 

“We are attempting to enact offers — and replacement those offers, at their core, touch on skills.”

cfeng headshot   high res Christine Feng. At AWS, Feng used to be liable for mergers and acquisitions, from sourcing to execution.

Blackstone


One of the offers which dangle marked Blackstone’s expansion within the tech sector consist of its investment in relationship app Bumble proprietor MagicLab, as effectively because the monetary-files firm Refinitiv, which announced plans to merge with with the London Stock Change final year. 

Read more: We talked to a dozen insiders about Jon Korngold, the investor utilizing Blackstone’s massive push into backing fleet-rising corporations love Bumble

But Blackstone, with bigger than $560 billion in resources below management, is easiest identified for its true-estate, credit rating and long-established private-equity investing, with portfolio corporations spanning inns, parks, and warehouse storage. Traditionally, basically the most eminent tech investors had been strong level avid gamers, love Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and Windfall Equity Partners.

Varied contemporary tech investments from Blackstone consist of Final Instrument, a cloud-essentially essentially based mostly human resources applications developer, HealthEdge, administrative application for health insurers, mobile advert firm Vungle and 21Vianet, a files-middle products and providers firm. 

“Digital infrastructure is a massive theme for us in tac opps,” acknowledged James.

“We dangle performed a couple of files middle and fiber offers, all of that are the underpinnings of this files revolution and folks’s inquire of for higher files.”

James_Chris_PRESS Chris James, chief operating officer of Blackstone’s tactical alternatives crew

Blackstone


By expanding within the gap, Blackstone joins diversified colossal investors within the pursuit of tech resources at a time when digital operations appear to be amongst the wisest bets, because the pandemic clouds the monetary prospects of physical, in-person corporations.

The Carlyle Neighborhood, as an illustration, is one other colossal firm that has been full of life in tech unbiased currently, having taken files firm ZoomInfo public final month, raising $935 million, and promoting off Eggplant, a provider of AI application, to Keysight Applied sciences.

As for Blackstone, its dimension is known as a key piece of the pitch. 

“We need so that you just might perhaps circulate to corporations and announce hear, now we dangle capital and now we dangle replacement resources. That capital can are available the form of credit rating, structured equity, we can make a selection you out completely or enact a minority deal. We dangle it in all shapes and sizes,” acknowledged James.

In joining Blackstone, Feng will work across the firm’s tactical alternatives and credit rating divisions. She will be essentially essentially based mostly out of San Francisco, and is coming aboard appropriate three months after the firm added one other tech-centered dealmaker within the put of residing: Vincent Letteri, who joined from KKR in Could per chance per chance well. Previously, Letteri had labored on operations at KKR portfolio firm First Knowledge. 

“We need her notion and feedback and bringing that tech standpoint,” acknowledged James, “Telling us, how would Amazon Net Services, Microsoft or Google take discover of this firm or style?”


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