Blackstone plans to open a Hong Kong office later this year, and has named former Hong Kong Financial Secretary Antony Leung and Ben Jenkins as its co-heads. Jenkins will relocate to from Blackstone's New York office, taking a team with him.
Leung will be a senior managing director and chairman of Blackstone Greater China. He was financial secretary from 2001 to 2003, and before that was chairman of JPMorgan Asia. FinanceAsia says his appointment suggests Blackstone has "major ambitions" in the region.
Currently, Blackstone's presence in Hong Kong is a satellite of its Mumbai, India, office. Where the satellite has focused on hedge fund operations, the expanded office will source and manage new private equity deals and work with portfolio companies in the region. Blackstone said it may open additional offices as its business in Asia grows.
The firm said it will build its Asia-Pacific presence by drawing upon a combination of experienced staff from its operations in the U.S. and Europe, as well as hiring established local professionals.