Pedestrians are reflected on glass in front of Blackstone Group LP headquarters in New York. (Photograph: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

Blackstone’s Assets Soar Above $500 Billion in Topping Peers

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP’s assets under management crossed over the $500 billion mark for the first time, fueled by its prodigious fundraising machine.

Key Insights

  • Blackstone, the largest alternative asset manager, has epitomized the industry’s fundraising muscle. In January, the firm said it expected to gather about $100 billion this year. Blackstone amassed $42.9 billion in the quarter, driving assets under management to a record $511.8 billion, according to a statement Thursday.
  • Private equity, the bedrock unit at the firm led by Stephen Schwarzman, got a lift from the stock market rally in the first quarter. The group gained 4.6 percent in the quarter, spurred by its public holdings, according to the statement.
  • Investment firms have had to work hard to find deals in a bull market to deploy their piles of dry powder. Blackstone spent $11.8 billion in the quarter, a bit more than its quarterly average from last year.
Blackstone’s Assets Soar Above $500 Billion in Topping Peers

Digging Deeper

  • Blackstone’s distributable earnings rose 7.2 percent to $538 million, or 44 cents a share, from $502 million, or 41 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The results missed the average estimate of 52 cents from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
  • Dry powder, or undeployed capital, increased to $132.6 billion from $112.9 billion last period, spurred by fundraising for the latest flagship funds.

Market Reaction

  • Blackstone’s shares rose 9.5 percent in pre-market trading. They are up 21 percent this year through Wednesday.

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