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Blackstone Mortgage Trust Names Katie Keenan CEO

Blackstone Mortgage Trust CEO Katie Keenan

Blackstone’s commercial mortgage trust’s new CEO is a woman who helped guide the company to strong performance through the crisis over the past year.

Katie Keenan was named CEO of Blackstone Mortgage Trustthe company announced Wednesday. The 36-year-old, who was formerly president of the publicly traded mortgage REIT, replaces Steve Plavin, who is now heading up another arm of Blackstone, Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies Europe, in London. 

“Katie’s appointment is a well-deserved reflection of her accomplishments as an investor and leader of our debt business,” Global co-head of Blackstone Real Estate Kathleen McCarthy said in a statement to Bisnow. “Since joining Blackstone nearly a decade ago, she has developed deep client relationships and contributed to the firm in innumerable ways.” 

As CEO, she will be overseeing the trust’s $18.7B portfolio across 122 senior commercial mortgages. The trust’s portfolio has grown 50% since Keenan joined leadership in 2018, according to Blackstone’s release. 

Under her leadership, the trust financed the $1.8B construction loan to Tishman Speyer to develop The Spiral in Hudson Yards as well as Cove Property Group’s $724M mortgage for Hudson Commons, per the release. 

She was critical in pulling Blackstone, one of the world’s largest landlords, through the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported. Now she will lead the company as it seeks to expand its loan portfolio. 

“We’re back in growth mode,” Keenan told the WSJ. 

Keenan has been president of the trust since February 2020, and first joined Blackstone as a principal in 2012 and was managing director for five years before being promoted to senior managing director in January of this year along with her role at the trust, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She started her career as an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers in 2006, the summer after she graduated from Harvard, where she first discovered her passion for urban planning while earning her degree in history, Bisnow reported in 2014