17 influencers building Blackstone’s $280 billion real estate empire

Timothy Johnson, Global Head of Real Estate Debt Strategies Blackstone

Timothy Johnson.

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When banks tightened their lending standards after the 2008 financial crisis, Blackstone stepped in, providing debt to institutional investors and property developers who had difficulty obtaining financing otherwise.

“Generally, our place in the real estate finance world has filled in the gaps of what a traditional bank would do,” Johnson, the global head of BREDS, told Insider in 2020.

Blackstone played an equally vital role when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

As traditional lenders retreated due to economic uncertainty, the company raised $8 billion for its latest real estate debt fund, BREDS IV, which closed in September 2020. It was the largest fund real estate loan never raised, according to Blackstone, and represented nearly half of the funds raised in 2020, commercial-real estate brokerage jll said.

“Alternative lenders are looking to fill a void that has widened dramatically during the economic crisis as banks carefully manage their balance sheets and shift to lower-risk real estate deals with more certain cash flow profiles” , Matt Duncan, head of debt advice in Australasia for JLL, said in an article on the JLL website.

Johnson, 42, was named head of BREDS in November, succeeding Pollack, who was promoted to head the newly created structured finance group, which includes BREDS.

Johnson, who joined Blackstone in 2011, oversees all of Blackstone’s investments in commercial and residential real estate debt.

In a interview with the Trade Observer soon after his promotion, Johnson highlighted warehouses, multi-family apartment buildings and life sciences as attractive sectors for debt and equity investments.

“There are also more opportunistic loans to be made in places that have seen temporary disruptions but have good long-term fundamentals, like high-quality new city apartments and offices,” Johnson told the Observer. .

Prior to joining Blackstone, Johnson co-founded a commercial real estate finance company and worked in Lehman Brothers’ commercial real estate group. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross.

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