Blackstone Tac Opps co-founder Pike to leave firm

Chad Pike, who helped launch the private equity giant's Tactical Opportunities unit alongside David Blitzer, is calling time on his 25-year career at the firm.

Chad Pike, the former co-head of Blackstone’s real estate business and founder of its tactical opportunities unit, is to retire from the firm early next month.

Sister publication PERE understands Pike’s last day will be 4 July, marking his 25th year at the company. His departure is thought to be amicable and consensual, though it is thought that he will be subject to a one-year non-compete stipulation in keeping with Blackstone’s requirement for departing senior managing directors.

Pike’s departure is a curtain call by one of Blackstone’s better-known figures, following a string of large transactions completed during his time leading the firm’s real estate business, which he co-ran alongside current firm president and chief operating officer Jon Gray between 2005 and 2011.

As such, he played an instrumental part in taking Blackstone to its current position as the world’s most successful private real estate manager in terms of raising capital and maintaining consistently high performances. Since its inception in 1995, the Blackstone Real Estate Partners fund series has generated a 16 percent net internal rate of return and 2x equity multiple.

Pike was also responsible for expanding Blackstone’s own office footprint, firstly in London in 2000, then in Asia where he opened offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and Tokyo between 2006 and 2007.

As part of a senior team reshuffle, which saw Gray become sole head of real estate, Pike started the firm’s tactical opportunities business alongside Blackstone’s former co-private equity head, David Blitzer, assuming the position of vice-chairman for Europe in the process.

The tactical opportunities business is regarded as Blackstone’s most flexible. It is responsible for a series of funds and separate accounts, grouped into three vintages so far, able to be deployed across private asset classes and geographies up and down the capital stack and risk/return spectrum. The division has committed $31 billion of equity, according to Blackstone’s Q1 earnings report, and realised net IRRs of 19 percent and an equity multiple of 1.3x.

Pike’s notable real estate deals with Blackstone’s tactical opportunities business include investments in UK housing lender Pluto Finance from 2014 in 2013, the creation of residential property platforms with Round Hill Capital in Germany, Finland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands from 2014, as well as an investment in UK life insurer Rothesay Life in 2013.

He is better known for the deals he led while overseeing the real estate business, including the 2003 acquisition of a portfolio of 51 offices from German bank Deutsche Bank for $1.2 billion, the €630 million purchase of leisure parks operator Center Parcs in 2006, the creation of the Nido Student Living business the same year from an initial £95 million ($117 million; €104 million) investment, and the £1.07 billion investment into a half-share of Broadgate, a large office complex in London, in 2009.

After his retirement from Blackstone, Pike will be focused on Grassy Creek, his family office investment company that he started in 2007. Grassy Creek’s investments are predominantly in venture and technology, as well as Eleven Experience, a leisure business he started in 2011.

Neither Blackstone nor Pike were available for comment.