US - BlackRock has lured the trio who launched Merrill Lynch's private equity business to help kick-start direct private equity offerings within BlackRock.
BlackRock said yesterday it hired Nathan Thorne, George Bitar and Mandy Puri all as managing directors and co-heads of the new BlackRock global private equity group. They will report to Matthew Botein, managing director and head of BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI).
BAI manages $115.3bn in hedge funds, hedge fund of funds, real estate, private equity funds of funds, opportunistic investment vehicles, commodities and currencies.
Robert Kapito, president of BlackRock said: "As Matt and his team have worked to round-out our alternative offerings, we recognized that this particular business was the most important gap in the alternatives portfolio and one in which we have a clear competitive advantage."
Thorne, Bitar and Puri began working together at Merrill Lynch in 1990 and launched the firm's private equity business in 1994. Merrill Lynch was eventually bought by Bank of America.
At Merrill, Thorne was chairman and president of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, Bitar was co-head of North America and Puri was chief investment officer.
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