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Blackstone Australia chairman quits

Two-year incumbent Paul Costello is leaving just weeks after the firm lost its China chairman.

Paul Costello, non-executive chairman of The Blackstone Group’s Australia and New Zealand operations, has resigned after only two years in the role, local media reports said today, citing a spokesman from the firm.

Blackstone could not be reached for comment by press time.

According to the reports, there are no immediate plans to name a successor and his reason for leaving remains unclear, with the Blackstone spokesman reportedly saying the departure was “amicable”.

Costello joined the firm from Australian superannuation fund Future Fund in October 2011 to help grow Blackstone’s business in the Australasian region. The firm then hired ex-Archer Capital partner James Carnegie as a senior advisor less than a year later.

Costello is the second chairman to leave Blackstone in a month.

In November, the firm lost its Greater China chairman and senior managing director Antony Leung after seven years of service. Leung will join Hong Kong-based real estate conglomerate Nan Fung Group, where his appointment as chief executive officer will be effective in February 2014.

Leung will remain a senior advisor to Blackstone and a member of its international advisory board.

However, the firm has added to its senior management in Asia, too. In January, Blackstone revealed that Gautam Banerjee, the former executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore, had been appointed as chairman of Blackstone Singapore. He also sits on Blackstone’s International Advisory Board.

The firm formally opened its Singapore office in October this year, its 24th office globally. The new office will serve as a regional hub for its Southeast Asia activities, although the firm is yet to close a deal in the region, PEI reported earlier.