Blackstone hires MD for new tech role

The role in the Portfolio Operations teams involves working directly with portfolio companies to 'accelerate growth and innovation'.

Blackstone has continued the build-out of its technology offering with a top-level hire.

The $649 billion investment manager has appointed Hala Zeine as managing director for the technology sector, according to a statement seen by Private Equity International. As part of the newly created role, Zeine will sit in the Portfolio Operations group and partner with Blackstone’s tech-based portfolio companies on “accelerating growth and innovation”.

Zeine will also advise the firm’s investment teams on new opportunities in the European technology market, the statement said.

“Hala is a world-class technology executive who has a deep and broad range of experience across sales and marketing, customer operations and product management,” said Jennifer Morgan, global head of Portfolio Operations.

Zeine comes to the role from German software company Celonis, where she was chief product officer. Prior to that she spent more than a decade with software firm SAP, where she was a president and head of the digital supply chain product business.

Technology has been a key driver of returns for Blackstone. Speaking on the firm’s third-quarter earnings call in October, chief financial officer Michael Chae said the private equity portfolio had “fully retraced” the 21.6 percent decline it experienced in the first quarter on the back of gains in technology, consumer finance and renewable energy.

“The firm’s largest, fully invested fund, BCP VII, is weighted toward the technology sector, including investments like Refinitiv and Bumble,” he said.

President and COO Jonathan Gray said on the firm’s first-quarter earnings call in April that tech, life sciences and global logistics were “good neighbourhoods” with sufficient growth potential to combat downward pressure on multiples from a likely rise in inflation.

Blackstone has in recent years turned its attention to growth equity. In April it appointed Paul Morrissey from Battery Ventures to lead the European deployment of Blackstone Growth, the asset manager’s $4.5 billion debut growth equity fund, as PEI reported.