Blackstone reported assets under management hit a record $974.7 billion as of Dec. 31, a 2.5% increase over $950.9 billion on Sept. 30 and up 10.6% from $880.9 billion in the year-ago quarter, but just shy of its $1 trillion target for year.
The alternative investment manager on Thursday reported inflows of $43.1 billion in the fourth quarter, versus inflows of $44.8 billion in the third quarter, and inflows of $154.8 billion in the year-ago fourth quarter.
Net realizations were $366.9 billion in the fourth quarter, down 8.9% from $402.6 billion in the third quarter and down 55.1% from $817.5 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Capital deployment amounted to $18.7 billion in the fourth quarter, down 40.3% from $31.3 billion in the third quarter, and down 71.6% from $65.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the release: "Despite one of the most challenging market backdrops in history … we protected investor capital by focusing on the right sectors, leading to an additional $226 billion of inflows for the year, including $43 billion in the fourth quarter."
He added: "We now have a record $187 billion of dry powder capital to take advantage of compelling investment opportunities in a dislocated environment."
In a call with analysts on Thursday morning, Mr. Schwarzman addressed the ongoing difficult market environment. "Having navigated five major market declines in my career, I've learned that focusing just on what's happening at the bottom of cycles misleads the public regarding likely future trends for appreciation and growth," he said. "My experience is these market bottoms often last for relatively short periods of time and are followed by resumption of (growth) trends."
However, Michael S. Chae, chief financial officer, cautioned in his outlook for 2023: "As it relates to realizations, we expect sales activity to remain muted in the near term given market conditions. And as always, when markets ultimately stabilize, we would expect realizations to re-accelerate as well."