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Blackstone hires ex-CPPIB’s Morandi to lead Europe secondaries

Nik Morandi, who helped lead the Canadian pension's secondaries unit from London, is joining the firm's Strategic Partners unit this month.

Strategic Partners has hired a former top investment professional from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board‘s secondaries team to help lead its European business, Secondaries Investor has learned.

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Morandi: will help lead European secondaries. Credit: Peter Searle

Nik Morandi joined the Blackstone unit on Monday and will be based in London, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Nik to Strategic Partners. Europe is an important market for us and Nik will be an invaluable addition to our growing team,” Verdun Perry, the unit’s global head, told Secondaries Investor.

The appointment comes off the back of at least three capital-raising efforts by Strategic Partners for secondaries across its private equity, infrastructure and real estate strategies over the past 18 months. In July last year, the firm raised $11.1 billion for its Strategic Partners Fund VIII. In July this year, it raised $3.75 billion for its Infrastructure III fund, the largest infrastructure secondaries vehicle ever raised, which followed its $1.9 billion raise for Real Estate VII fund in June, according to PEI data.

Morandi left the Canadian pension giant in September, as Secondaries Investor reported. He was the latest in a string of departures from its senior secondaries team, including head Michael Woolhouse, who joined TPG in August, and Sebastien Siou, who joined Whitehorse Liquidity Partners last year.

Dushy Sivanithy, a senior member of the pension’s private equity funds team, was appointed head of secondaries in September. Delaney Brown is listed as head of funds and secondaries, according to CPPIB’s website.

Morandi had joined the pension in 2016 from Pantheon where he was a partner and led its European secondaries business with senior principal Louis Choy.

Strategic Partners is the second-biggest manager by dedicated secondaries fundraising after Ardian, according to Secondaries Investor‘s latest SI 30 ranking, having raised $31.1 billion between January 2015 and June 2020. It has backed deals this year including acquiring a $1 billion portfolio of infrastructure assets from Alaska Permanent Fund, and a credit-focused GP-led process involving moving assets from Angel Island Capital, a Golden Gate Capital portfolio company, into a closed-ended fund.

The group is led by Perry in New York.

– This report was updated with a comment from Blackstone.