Blackstone Group has created five new senior positions to expand its ESG team. Four of these positions will be filled by external talent from London, the US and Sydney and another New York-based exec will be transferred internally.
The New York-listed firm has $619 billion in assets under management and is the largest manager of private equity and private real estate capital in the world, according to rankings by affiliate titles Private Equity International and PERE.
“We view ESG as central to our mission of delivering strong returns for clients,” Jon Gray, Blackstone president and COO, said in a statement.
Elizabeth Lewis joins as the managing director of corporate ESG. Lewis previously held climate-focused roles at the International Finance Corporation, World Resources Institute, the World Bank, the Global Environment Fund and public equity manager Terra Alpha Investments. She is based in Washington, DC.
James Mandel, managing director of sustainability, will lead Blackstone’s carbon emissions reduction programme under Blackstone’s chief sustainability officer, Don Anderson. US-based Mandel is a former managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy transition non-profit, and has also held roles at McKinsey & Company and Advanced Conservation Strategies. He holds a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Caroline Hill joins as Europe head of real estate ESG and Nina James as Asia-Pacific head of real estate ESG. Both Hill and James will work alongside Blackstone’s global real estate ESG head, Eric Duchon. London-based Hill previously held sustainability roles at Landsec, PwC and Whitbread. James was previously at InvestaProperty Group and sits on a number of committees including the Australian UNPRI, the International WELL Building Institute and the Oceania GRESB.
Blackstone has also moved Rita Mangalick up to global ESG head for Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, the firm’s alternatives arm, and Blackstone Credit. New York-based Mangalick was previously BAAM’s ESG head for hedge funds, and has also held roles at UBS Asset Management, Union Bancaire Privee and KPMG.
Blackstone is the latest in a slew of private equity firms racing to recruit ESG talent. The firm is also reportedly looking for a global head of ESG, according to Reuters, which cites sources familiar with the matter.