Blackstone’s Hedge-Fund Enterprise to Launch Progress Technique

The world’s largest investor in hedge funds has employed former hedge-fund supervisor Scott Bommer to launch a brand new progress technique, a transfer aimed toward increasing

Blackstone

BX -1.00%

Group Inc.’s hedge-fund enterprise with choices supposed to generate massive returns for shoppers.

The Blackstone Horizon platform, to be run by Mr. Bommer, will thematically put money into cash managers centered on fast-growing private and non-private firms, Blackstone mentioned. Horizon additionally will make investments immediately in inventory markets.

The principle fund of hedge funds on the Blackstone enterprise had missed out on a few of the wealthy returns coming from progress investing in recent times as a result of its conservative, low-volatility strategy goals to hedge shoppers’ portfolios. Blackstone in January employed former Brown College endowment chief

Joe Dowling

to run its hedge-fund enterprise with

John McCormick,

saying on the time that his rent signaled a brand new concentrate on hedge funds as autos that may generate massive returns and stand up to volatility.

Mr. Bommer, 54 years outdated, is Mr. Dowling’s first rent. The private-equity agency broadly has been pushing to speculate extra in fast-growing firms and lately has taken stakes within the proprietor of courting app Bumble and Swedish oat-milk maker Oatly AB.

“There’s massive alternative with the disruption that’s occurring as tech now permeates all these completely different industries,” mentioned Mr. Bommer, who beforehand headed New York-based SAB Capital Administration for 17 years earlier than shutting it in 2015 to handle his personal cash.

Mr. Bommer is accountable for constructing a staff for Horizon. Blackstone mentioned eight managers have already been chosen for the platform, two of whom are ladies, a excessive proportion in a male-dominated trade.

Mr. Bommer mentioned Blackstone’s deep partnerships with hedge-fund managers will assist it entry prime buyers and their finest co-investment concepts in personal firms poised to go public, a mannequin Mr. Dowling employed at Brown. Mr. Bommer mentioned these offers would profit from “virtually a double layer of vetting” from managers and Blackstone.

He additionally expressed curiosity in PIPE offers—personal investments in public fairness—in firms going public by way of blank-check firms. Horizon additionally might scoop up shares of firms which have lately gone public when lockups on early buyers expire, or be a cornerstone investor in firms that do a direct itemizing. Direct listings are an more and more well-liked manner for firms to go public that sidesteps the normal means of preliminary public choices.

“I can’t consider somebody who’s higher at evaluating, underwriting after which assessing each threat and reward,” Mr. Dowling mentioned of Mr. Bommer, a good friend since their days at enterprise faculty collectively within the Nineteen Nineties.

“He’s had 1000’s and 1000’s of reps [repetitions] throughout industries and asset courses and that’s what it is advisable to be actually good,” Mr. Dowling mentioned.

Throughout his time at SAB, Mr. Bommer largely invested in comparatively low-cost public firms as a worth investor and likewise invested in particular conditions. He noticed SAB develop to a peak of $2 billion.

Whereas it underperformed rivals towards its finish, SAB bested the total-return of the S&P 500 by greater than 7% on an annualized foundation over its lifetime, with much less threat, in accordance with an investor doc considered by The Wall Road Journal.

Mr. Bommer has been centered on late-stage progress investing along with his private wealth since he closed SAB whereas additionally persevering with to put money into public markets. He was a seed investor in Latin American supply startup Rappi Inc. when it was valued round $20 million. Its most up-to-date spherical in September valued the corporate at $4.3 billion post-money.

Preserving a low profile as a hedge-fund supervisor, Mr. Bommer has attracted consideration for his real-estate transactions. He and his spouse, Donya, spent $93.9 million on three adjoining East Hampton parcels that they bought in 2016 for $110 million. The Bommers in 2008 set what had been data on the time for New York Metropolis co-op house buy and gross sales figures.

Write to Juliet Chung at juliet.chung@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Firm, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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