Jon Gray named president and COO of Blackstone
Blackstone announced that Tony James, president and COO, will be handing over day-to-day management of the firm to Jon Gray, global head of real estate.
James will continue in a full-time role at the firm and assume the title of executive vice chairman, reporting to Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and CEO.
Gray will become president and COO also reporting to Schwarzman. Two long-time leaders in Blackstone’s real estate group, Ken Caplan and Kathleen McCarthy, have been named global co-heads of real estate succeeding Gray.
Gray came to Blackstone in 1992 straight out of college. He started in the private equity and mergers and acquisition areas of the firm before joining the real estate group at its inception. He has led this area since 2005, helping build the world’s largest real estate business with more than $115 billion of investor capital. Blackstone Real Estate has delivered outstanding performance for investors and grown to be the industry leader in opportunistic, core plus and debt investing across the United States, Europe and Asia. Real Estate has accounted for half the firm’s earnings in the last several years. Gray sits on Blackstone’s board of directors and management committee, playing a critical role in firm-wide management, strategy and decision-making.
James joined Blackstone in 2002 as vice xhairman and COO and assumed the title of president in 2006 upon the retirement of co-founder Peter Peterson. Major initiatives led by James include the firm’s IPO, the acquisitions of GSO and Strategic Partners, the spin-off of the firm’s advisory business into PJT Partners, and the founding of Blackstone's Tactical Opportunities, Core Private Equity, Infrastructure, Insurance Solutions and retail initiatives. In his new role, he will continue to sit on the firm’s investment committees, help develop new businesses, serve as a firm spokesman and manage strategic external relationships. He will also continue to sit on the firm’s management committee and board of directors.
As the new global co-heads of real estate, Ken Caplan and Kathleen McCarthy have extensive experience with every aspect of the real estate business and have helped oversee its major functions. Gray will remain chairman of the real estate investment committee and will continue to spend considerable time working with Caplan and McCarthy to help ensure the group maintains its strong growth trajectory and investment track record.
Caplan currently serves as a senior managing director and global chief investment officer of the real estate group. He is another senior leader who has spent nearly all his career at the firm, having joined Blackstone in 1997. During his 21 years at Blackstone, he has been involved in over $100 billion of real estate acquisitions globally. Caplan spent several years in Blackstone’s London office, serving as head of real estate Europe.
McCarthy currently serves as a senior managing director and global chief operating officer of Blackstone real estate. She is responsible for the real estate business’s day-to-day operations with a particular focus on its investors, capital raising and business development efforts across new investment products. She has been in real estate her entire career, joining Blackstone in 2010 after a decade in real estate investments and mergers and acquisitions.