BlackRock Hires Two Goldman Sachs Executives for Private Equity

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(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. is hiring two Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives for its private equity business as the world’s largest asset manager attempts to move further into illiquid-investment offerings.

Steve Lessar and Konnin Tam, managing directors at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will join BlackRock this summer in New York, according to a company memo on Monday seen by Bloomberg News. The two will focus on bolstering BlackRock’s business in private equity secondaries, or situations where an investor in a private fund gets bought out.

BlackRock is broadening its focus beyond mutual funds and ETFs to an expanding pool of markets, including illiquid ones where trades are harder. Investments in such alternative assets are a "strategic priority" for the company, according to the memo sent by David Blumer, head of BlackRock Alternative Investors, and Russ Steenberg, head of BlackRock Private Equity Partners.

Earlier this month, the New York-based firm announced its acquisition of a private credit manager, Tennenbaum Capital Partners. BlackRock is also seeking to raise more than $10 billion for a fund that will hold stakes in other companies, to be called BlackRock Long-Term Private Capital.

Lessar and Tam worked together at Goldman, where they helped build a platform targeting private-equity secondaries, according to the memo.

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