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La Trobe partners with Blackstone

La Trobe Financial today announced global asset management firm Blackstone has taken an 80 per cent stake in the company for an undisclosed sum.

The New York-based firm has over $521 billion in funds under management.

The partnership aims to accelerate La Trobe Financial’s recent strong growth in Australian credit markets, focusing on the $1.7 trillion Australian mortgage loan market, and servicing small to medium enterprises and business borrowers that are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain credit from traditional bank sources.

Blackstone’s capital support and global networks will assist La Trobe Financial to continue to develop its leading position in these specialist credit market segments.

Under the agreement, La Trobe Financial will continue to focus on growing its offerings to its loan and wealth management customers through its $2 billion retail credit fund, its $4.6 billion mortgage loan portfolios, its institutional mandates and facilities, and its $1.1 billion regular debt capital market issuances.

In partnering with Blackstone, the company will also look to broaden its base products and services in new market segments.

“The opportunity to partner with Blackstone was the perfect fit for our staff, business and customers,” La Trobe Financial president and chief executive Greg O’Neill said.

“The specialist credit space is experiencing a defining period of change and growth around the world right now and it is critical that we continue to build on our strong capital position, expand our networks and draw on global best practice.

“Blackstone is an outstanding counterparty for our business and we are delighted to partner with them.

“We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years to expand and substantially grow our retail and institutional investment programs and our specialist lending offerings.”

Blackstone managing director of tactical opportunities Malcom Jackson said the firm looked forward to a strong and productive partnership.

Under the terms of the agreement, O’Neill will continue as president and chief executive, as will the existing management and executive team, including its chief operating officer, chief investment officer and chief lending officer.

La Trobe Financial will retain the existing board and appoint two additional representatives from Blackstone.

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