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Ever Wondered What Blackstone’s Pitch To Investors For Its New $20B Fund Is Like? You Can Watch It Here.

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Ever Wondered What Blackstone’s Pitch To Investors For Its New $20B Fund Is Like? You Can Watch It Here.
Blackstone Real Estate Co-Heads Kathleen McCarthy and Ken Caplan

Blackstone is poised to close the largest real estate fund ever — with $20B of equity — as early as this month.

Its latest opportunity fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX, will top its immediate predecessor, BREP VIII, which raised $15.8B in 2015.

And you can watch its pitch to potential investors, thanks to the good folks at the State of New Mexico Investment Council.

In a bid to be as transparent as possible, the investment council’s board videos all of the meetings where it discusses potential new investments and posts them on YouTube.

On 27 November the board met with Blackstone's head of real estate business development for the Americas, Alexandra Hill, and its head of U.S. acquisitions, Tyler Henritze, to discuss a potential $100M investment in BREP IX.

You can watch the meeting here. There is a brief discussion of it from the board’s investment advisor at Townsend Group from about two minutes five seconds in, but then Hill and Henritze get into the strategy of the fund at 19.20. Just before that someone calls them BlackRock instead of Blackstone. Awkward.

The pitch gives an insight into the strategy the new fund will look to utilise. Around 60% will be deployed in North America, with about 20% each allocated to co-invest alongside Blackstone’s European and Asian funds. It will target returns of 20% or more.

On what it will buy, Henritze outlines how it will be broadly similar to its recent predecessors. It will have four main target areas: logistics, in particular urban logistics; rental housing in big cities, to tap into the trend of urbanisation and the inability of the middle classes to buy their own homes; big hotel and resort complexes, like the Grand Wailea and Turtle Bay it bought in Hawaii in 2017 and 2018 for a combined $1.4B; and office properties in what it calls innovation cities, which are attracting an outsized share of talented young workers and companies.

Henritze doesn’t identify any specific cities at the meeting, but in an interview with Bisnow earlier this year Blackstone real estate co-heads Ken Caplan and Kathleen McCarthy highlighted San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle in the U.S. and Stockholm, Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney globally.

Henritze said Blackstone would look to generate good returns by continuing to focus on large transactions where there was very little competition. “With many of the deals in our recent funds we have been the only bidder or maybe one of two," he said. “Our scale gives us a big advantage.”

For most investors, there is only so much they can learn from watching Blackstone’s pitch because the main reason it has been such a capital raising machine is returns averaging 16% a year over the past 20-plus years, through the good times or bad.

Did New Mexico vote in favour of making the investment? Of course it did.