Blackstone hires ex-Future Fund exec

Paul Costello has joined the global alternatives group as non-executive chairman to grow its Australasian business.

Global private equity firm The Blackstone Group has appointed the former general manager of Australia’s Future Fund Paul Costello as non-executive chairman for Australia and New Zealand to grow its business in the region. He will be based in Melbourne.

The hire came just days after the US firm struck a deal to acquire Burger King’s New Zealand operator Antares Restaurant Group, its maiden investment in Australasia outside of the real estate space.

“Australia is a market of long-term importance to Blackstone both for the increasing number of institutions there that are choosing to invest with us, and as a source of attractive investment opportunities for our funds,” Michael Chae, head of Asia at Blackstone, said in a statement.

Costello resigned from Future Fund in September last year. He was succeeded by Mark Burgess.

Before joining the Australian pension fund in November 2006, Costello established the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, where he spent four years. Previously, he was chief executive officer of the Superannuation Trust of Australia.