Blackstone Inc. ( BX Quick Quote BX - Free Report) has integrated its corporate credit, asset-based finance and insurance groups into a single unit called the Blackstone Credit & Insurance (“BXCI”). BXCI is expected to accelerate growth by creating a more seamless experience for clients and borrowers. The new unit will offer a one-stop solution across corporate and asset-based, as well as investment grade and non-investment grade, private credit. Notably, BX’s credit and insurance segment includes senior credit-focused funds, distressed debt funds, mezzanine funds and general credit-focused funds concentrated in the leveraged finance marketplace. It has been the company’s fastest-growing segment, which had $294.6 billion in assets under management as of Jun 30, 2023. Steve Schwarzman, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Blackstone, said, “We see the opportunity for BXCI, along with Real Estate Credit, to reach $1 trillion in the next ten years.” Jon Gray, the president & COO of Blackstone, stated, “Exceptional demand from our clients has made Credit and Insurance the fastest-growing segment at Blackstone. This integration allows us to be an even more effective lender and more comprehensively serve our insurance, pension fund and private wealth clients.” Gilles Dellaert, the global head of Blackstone Insurance, will serve as the global head of BXCI and lead the combined operations. Dwight Scott, the global head of Blackstone Credit, will serve as the chairman of BXCI, prioritizing client relationships, key growth initiatives, and the further expansion of the firm’s European platform. Dellaert stated, “I am excited to take on this new role and believe that there is immense white space to continue expanding our leading credit and insurance platforms. Bringing together nearly all of the firm’s credit activities further extends the competitive advantage of Blackstone’s scale, private origination capabilities, and intellectual capital.” Scott added, “The combined BXCI team will deliver the best of Blackstone to our investors and borrowers. We believe we are still in the early innings of a megatrend in private credit.” With this integration, Blackstone has signaled that its growth prospects lie away from the traditional private equity buyout and real estate businesses in the coming decade. Moreover, the integration of BX’s credit and insurance businesses comes at a time when other private equity firms like Apollo Global Management, Inc. ( APO Quick Quote APO - Free Report) , KKR & Co. Inc. ( KKR Quick Quote KKR - Free Report) and Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. ( BAM Quick Quote BAM - Free Report) are preferring debt-based investments for asset growth in a rising rate environment. Last year, as APO’s chief executive, Marc Rowan, prioritized credit investments for growth, the company completed the acquisition of Athene, a life and annuities insurer it created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Apollo Global’s credit division manages hundreds of billions in insurance assets that it owns directly after the merger. KKR and Brookfield have also purchased large insurers in recent years in an effort to grow their assets. Over the past six months, shares of BX have gained 30.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 5.6%.
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