BlackRock Adds Merrill Private Equity Founders

May 24 2011 | 12:14pm ET

BlackRock has launched a new direct private equity business, hiring the team behind Merrill Lynch's p.e. effort.

The firm said that Nathan Thorne, George Bitar and Mandy Puri joined as managing directors and will lead its new global private equity group. All three were instrumental in the launch of Merrill's private equity business in 1994.

The three will report to Matthew Botein, head of BlackRock Alternative Investors.

"As Matt and his team have worked to round-out our alternative offerings, we recognized that this particular business was the most important gap in the alternatives portfolio and one in which we have a clear competitive advantage," Robert Kapito, president of BlackRock, said.

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