Blackstone Names Scott GSO President, Deepening Credit Bench

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP promoted Dwight Scott, head of its energy debt practice, to president of its credit unit as it lays the groundwork for future leadership.

Scott, 53, will remain involved in energy credit investing but will also focus more on various parts of the unit, known as GSO Capital Partners, co-founder Bennett Goodman said in an interview Monday. The shift will allow co-founder Tripp Smith to focus more on distressed-debt opportunities, Goodman said. He and Smith will continue to oversee the business.

Rob Horn and Michael Zawadzki will replace Scott, becoming co-heads of GSO’s energy activities, Goodman said.

“Dwight has touched all of our different businesses in his capacity leading the energy team,” said Goodman. “As GSO gets bigger, Dwight has become more integral to our franchise. We want him to dive deeper.”

Blackstone acquired and integrated GSO -- which refers to Goodman, Smith and Doug Ostrover -- in 2008. The group, which managed about $10 billion at the time, has expanded to oversee $93 billion, making it one of the largest credit investors in the world. Ostrover left in 2015.

GSO is New York-based Blackstone’s fastest-growing segment, Chief Financial Officer Michael Chae said on an April conference call with analysts and investors. Globally, private debt assets under management have quadrupled since 2006 to $595 billion as of last year, according to researcher Preqin. Credit is Apollo Global Management LLC’s biggest unit by assets, and Carlyle Group LP is building out its debt investing business after hiring Mark Jenkins to oversee the effort.

GeoSouthern, FourPoint

Scott sits on the boards of six energy businesses and played a role in key deals including GeoSouthern Energy Corp., in which Blackstone has a preferred-equity interest, and FourPoint Energy LLC, where Blackstone provided debt and equity financing.

“I rely on him to be a quality shareholder and voice on the board,” FourPoint Chief Executive Officer George Solich said of Scott. “He’s fair and strives for the win-win outcome, which I think is a sign of good leadership.”

A native of North Carolina, Dwight attended the University of North Carolina before going to business school at the University of Texas. He worked in energy investment banking at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, where he met GSO’s future founders and Tony James, now Blackstone’s president.

Scott joined GSO when it formed in 2005, working out of its Houston office, before moving to New York in 2011. Goodman said he and Smith remain entirely committed to GSO while they elevate new leaders.

“We always want to have a player-coach model,” Goodman said. “If you’re a bureaucrat here, you’re dead.”

Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a non-executive director at Blackstone.