How Blackstone’s Jon Gray undercut his UK counterpart

Profile of exec reveals power move from a decade ago

National /
Jan.January 28, 2021 08:46 AM
Photo Illustration of Blackstone's Jonathan Gray (Getty; iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Photo Illustration of Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray (Getty; iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

A decade ago, Blackstone’s Jon Gray was fresh off two multibillion-dollar real estate acquisitions, Equity Office Properties and Hilton, and he was working around the clock.

In London, his European counterpart, Chad Pike, was overseeing a much smaller arm of the company’s real estate investment business.

There was another difference between the two men: According to a profile in Business Insider, which reveals previously unreported details from that period, Pike was a fan of traveling and heli-skiing with his family. He even had a side business offering tours built around the great outdoors. Gray, meanwhile, was known to answer emails in the evenings and on weekends.

Gray went to Blackstone executive Tony James and told him the partnership with Pike wasn’t working, according to BI, which cited a source familiar with the events. Gray said Pike had lost focus. James traveled to London.

Stephen Schwarzman then determined that Pike would be reassigned to an investment arm named tactical opportunities, while Gray would become the sole head of real estate. Pike retired in 2020.

“Yes, of course, I did go to London. That’s a fact,” James told BI. “But you have too much drama around it.”

He added, “I think if you talk to Chad, the tac-opps era was the most fun he has had in his career.”

[BI] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan





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