Strategic Partners co-head to stand aside – exclusive

Stephen Can will become executive chairman, as the Blackstone unit implements a succession plan.

Stephen Can, Blackstone Strategic Partners‘ co-head and a senior managing director, will stand aside from the day-to-day running of the business.

He will assume the role of executive chairman in February before stepping down from the firm in the next couple of years, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Co-head Verdun Perry will continue as the sole head of the unit.

Investors learned the news at Strategic Partners’ annual meeting in May.

“Stephen… is one of the industry’s original pioneers”
Verdun Parry

Can was a founding member of Strategic Partners. He joined investment bank DLJ as a managing director in the summer of 2000, months before it was bought by Credit Suisse. Blackstone acquired Strategic Partners in 2013. Before that he co-managed the $7.9 billion private equity portfolio of IBM Pension Funds, focusing on primaries and secondaries.

“Stephen completed his first secondary deal in 1994 and is one of the industry’s original pioneers,” Perry told Secondaries Investor… “He has been a true mentor to me over our almost 20 years together, including during the last seven years as co-heads of Strategic Partners. We are thrilled he will remain closely involved in the business as executive chairman.”

Strategic Partners is seeking $8 billion for Strategic Partners Fund VIII, a dedicated secondaries vehicle, as Secondaries Investor reported in May. In April the firm raised $1.75 billion for its second real assets secondaries vehicle, the largest pool of capital ever raised for the strategy.

In June, Lexington Partners announced that founder Brent Nicklas was to relinquish control over day-to-day running of the business, taking up the role of president. He will be replaced by Wilson Warren, who leads the firm’s US secondaries investment activities.

In July Secondaries Investor reported that New York-based directors Brian Kolin and Boriana Karastoyanova were leaving the firm. They had been there since before its 2013 acquisition by Blackstone.

Strategic Partners has around 48 staff based in New York, London and San Francisco, according to its website.

Article changed to reflect that Strategic Partners has 48 staff