Blackstone Hires Ex-Goldman’s Burton for Secondary Deals

Blackstone Group LP hired Mark Burton from H/2 Capital Partners LLC to oversee the private-equity firm’s real estate secondaries business.

Burton, who previously spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., will be a principal in Blackstone’s Strategic Partners business, according to a statement today from the New York-based firm. At H/2 Burton was a managing director focusing on distressed commercial mortgage investments.

Blackstone acquired the Strategic Partners unit last year from Credit Suisse Group AG, expanding its traditional buyout business to include the practice of buying and selling stakes in private-equity funds. The market for secondary fund stakes is expected to grow in the next year as heightened regulatory measures such as the Volcker Rule lead banks to dispose of their private-equity investments to raise capital, according to a report last month from research firm Preqin Ltd.

Blackstone’s unit, run by Stephen Can and Verdun Perry, oversees $15.5 billion in committed capital and is raising its sixth fund with a $4.4 billion target, according to Blackstone’s second-quarter earnings statement. The group competes with firms including Ardian, Lexington Partners Inc. and Coller Capital Ltd., which have the three biggest mounds of uncalled capital, according to Preqin.

Strategic Partners has produced an internal rate of return of 14 percent, according to Blackstone’s earnings statement. The group is investing its fourth real estate fund after starting to buy property fund stakes in 2000, according to the statement today.

“The addition of Mark to our business will significantly strengthen our current real estate activities and allow us to continue capitalizing on opportunities in the real estate secondaries market,” Perry said in today’s statement.

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