Blackstone Launches A Social Impact Division Which Will Be Led By Tanya Barnes

By Annie Baker ● May 9, 2019


Photo Credit: Tanya Barnes

Private equity and financial services company Blackstone has announced it is launching a social impact investing platform that is being led by Tanya Barnes. Barnes used to be the managing director of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division for about fifteen years. Prior to working at Goldman Sachs, Barnes had also worked as managing director of Golden Seeds (invests in women-led businesses) and managing partner at TLB Capital.

“I am excited to join Blackstone and the Strategic Partners business. I look forward to leveraging the firm’s expertise and scale to expand the role of private capital to create solutions that address the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges,” Barnes explained.

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Blackstone’s social impact division is going to operate within the company’s Strategic Partners business — which is led by Blackstone’s senior managing director and co-head of strategic partners Verdun Perry. And there are four core areas that the social impact arm will focus on — Health & Wellbeing, Financial Access, Sustainable Communities, and Green Technologies. And Blackstone said that the platform will make investments in mission-oriented businesses and managers — which will unlock new opportunities for investors.

We are thrilled to welcome Tanya Barnes to our team and to announce the launch of this initiative. Our impact platform has a powerful value proposition and significant growth potential. We believe it will greatly expand our ability to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact, while making the companies we invest in more valuable,” said Perry.

Through this initiative, Blackstone will leverage Strategic Partners’ scale and expertise across private equity, real estate, and infrastructure by partnering with external impact managers who are focused on developed markets as well as Blackstone’s other investing businesses. And the initiative will build on Blackstone’s previous investments in impact themes along with Strategic Partners’ vast sourcing capabilities and partnerships with investment managers.

“As a firm, we seek to deliver value for our investors while also having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate. The impact platform is an exciting growth area and a natural extension of our business. We look forward to meeting the growing demand for impact investments,” added Blackstone President and chief operating officer Jon Gray.

Blackstone is not the only private equity firm that has launched social impact funds. Bain Capital, KKR, and TPG Capital have similar setups.