Nathan Thorne, George Bitar and Mandy Puri joined BlackRock as managing directors to add a direct private equity platform to the money management giant's alternatives lineup, confirmed spokeswoman Bobbie Collins.
The trio will build a global private equity team that is expected to expand to roughly 20 professionals over the coming 12 months, according to a news release Monday.
The three executives founded Merrill Lynch's private equity business in 1994, where they remained until 2009. Mr. Thorne was chairman and president of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity at Bank of America Merrill Lynch when he departed; Mr. Bitar was co-head of North America with that firm and Ms. Puri served as chief investment officer.
In between their 2009 departures and coming to BlackRock, the three “pursued personal interests, served on boards of directors, and were in the initial stages of forming an independent investment partnership” — gmn partners — before joining BlackRock, according to Ms. Collins.
Ms. Collins said gmn partners has been shut down.
Robert S. Kapito, president of BlackRock, said in the news release that the addition of the private equity veterans fills “the most important gap” that remained in BlackRock's alternatives lineup.