New York-based asset management firm Blackstone has announced a strategic partnership with non-bank lender and fund manager La Trobe Financial.
Blackstone has taken an 80 per cent stake in La Trobe for an undisclosed amount, effective immediately, according to a statement.
The strategic partnership will further La Trobe’s growth in Australian credit markets, with a particular focus on the mortgage loan market and servicing small to medium enterprises.
The partnership will also see La Trobe move into new segments of the market and broaden its base products and services, the statement said.
La Trobe Financial president and chief executive Greg O’Neill said the partnership with Blackstone was a “perfect fit” for staff, business and customers.
“The specialist credit space is experiencing a defining period of change and growth around the world right now and it is critical that we continue to build on our strong capital position, expand our networks and draw on global best practice,” Mr O'Neill said.
He added that Blackstone was an “outstanding counterparty for our business”.
“We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years to expand and substantially grow our retail and institutional investment programs and our specialist lending offerings,” Mr O'Neill said.
“At a personal level, our executive team look forward to working with Blackstone to maximise the benefits and synergies for all La Trobe Financial customers.”
Blackstone managing director, tactical opportunities Malcolm Jackson indicated the partnership had come at a particularly “pivotal moment in their growth and development” for La Trobe.
“The calibre of the La Trobe management team, combined with their high-quality loan origination and underwriting, both in the residential and commercial markets, and a strategy that is focused on realising growth opportunities at this important time in the cycle, means we look forward to a strong and productive partnership,” Mr Jackson said.
All members of La Trobe’s executive staff as well as the board will retain their positions, with the addition of two “representatives” from Blackstone, according to the statement.
La Trobe will benefit from Blackstone’s expertise on the board, Mr O’Neill said.
“There is a unique opportunity to tap into Blackstone’s global platform and its operational support to expand our investment and lending programs globally,” he said.
“The scale of the opportunity is unprecedented, given that Blackstone is larger than its four largest peer competitors combined.”