Blackstone hires senior executives for its hedge fund unit

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) has hired two executives who previously worked with billionaire investors Bruce Kovner and David Tepper for top investment positions in the firm’s $81 billion hedge fund unit, the company said on Thursday.

David Ben-Ur, who managed Kovner’s family money, will join as chief investment officer of the unit’s hedge fund solutions business. Atish Nigam, who worked at Tepper’s hedge fund Appaloosa Management, will become chief investment officer of the hedge fund unit’s special situations investing business.

Both men will join New York-headquartered Blackstone in early 2022 and will work for Joe Dowling who heads Blackstone’s hedge fund business known as BAAM.

“Our mission is to deliver exceptional performance and these are highly skilled investors who will help us achieve that,” Dowling told Reuters.

Dowling, a former endowment chief at Brown University, came to Blackstone this year and has recruited staff as a number of senior Blackstone executives left the firm.

The new hires “demonstrate the tremendous momentum we have in BAAM,” Jon Gray, Blackstone president and chief operating officer, said. “David and Atish are exceptional investors with great track records of managing money and delivering strong, risk-adjusted returns through market cycles.”

Ben-Ur was chief investment officer at CAM Capital where he managed assets for Kovner who founded hedge fund Caxton Associates in 1983. Before that he was co-chief investment officer at Corbin Capital and started his career at Fidelity Investments.

CAM Capital and Blackstone also agreed on preliminary terms to manage CAM Capital’s assets.

Nigam was a senior analyst at Tepper’s Appaloosa, a hedge fund that is now managing mainly Tepper’s personal fortune.

Blackstone’s BAAM unit is on track to post its best-ever year, with revenues and earnings topping last year’s records and assets at a record high. Blackstone’s fund-of-funds portfolio, BAAM Principal Solutions, gained 12.2% over the last 12 months, outpacing the hedge fund industry which gained 8.9%.

But the unit has also seen turnover. Ben-Ur will replace Gideon Berger, who left the firm earlier this year, while Nigam will replace Min Htoo who is leaving at the end of the year.