Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 86

Strategies

Blackstone Has the Power
Its competitive position should help
it through uncertain environments.

BEST IDEAS: EQUITY

Stephen Ellis

This article is adapted from the stock's Morningstar
equity research report dated April 20, 2017.
The stock appears on Morningstar's Best Ideas list.
After Blackstone BX reported a strong first
quarter, we plan to maintain our $37 per unit fair
value estimate and wide moat rating. Blackstone
outperformed the industry by a substantial margin,
demonstrating its healthy competitive position.

Investment Thesis

Blackstone's aggressiveness and size (over $350
billion in assets under management) leave it one of
the best-positioned alternative asset management
firms. Blackstone has obtained more than
$200 billion in new capital since 2011. The firm has
inbounded $17 billion in assets under management
for Tactical Opportunities in five years and $14
billion for core-plus real estate in three years, and
more than doubled the size of Strategic Partners'
AUM post acquisition in three years. We expect
Blackstone's total AUM to increase to about
$550 billion in 2020, thanks to the firm's ability to
inbound new capital with aplomb.

We believe that as Blackstone continues to
differentiate itself from peers and deliver strong
results, the current substantial discount to
our fair value estimate should disappear.
According to PitchBook, capital investment and
deal activity globally for private equity firms
declined about 35% from the second quarter
of 2016. Meanwhile, Blackstone more than
doubled investment activity to $11 billion from $4
billion over the same time frame. Similarly,
private equity exits were down nearly 40%,
according to PitchBook, since the second quarter
of 2016, making Blackstone's $17 billion
of realizations, roughly 70% higher than recent
quarterly averages, a standout performance.

The firm made its first investment in core-plus
private equity in 2017. Broadly, the core-plus model
offers longer time periods than traditional private
equity funds under an open funds model,
eliminating the need to exit strong investments
early. The trade-off is lower incentive fees,
but Blackstone will retain AUM longer and earn
incremental management fees. The challenge with
the model will be sourcing the right type
of investments and locating the right LPs with a
longer than usual time horizon. Fortunately,
Blackstone has a long list of LPs that it works with,
and real estate is ideally suited for this effort given
the long development time frames.

From a fundraising perspective, we think the
diversity and innovation displayed by Blackstone
will let it continue to lead the industry in
inflows. We expect that a shift toward longerdated core-plus funds aligns well with the longer
time horizons of its limited partners, or LPs,
particularly sovereign wealth funds and pension
funds. This quarter, Blackstone pulled in
$1.2 billion in inflows for core-plus real estate
offerings, for example.

We believe Blackstone has a wide economic
moat. The company is the largest, most diversified
alternative asset manager and has the strongest
record of strategy innovation and fundraising.
Since 2007, Blackstone has inbounded more than
$130 billion in assets under management to
brand-new strategies, by our estimates, and since
2011, more than $200 billion to the firm's total AUM.
If separated into a new unit, Blackstone's new

86

Morningstar June/July 2017

Economic Moat

strategies would be the third-largest stand-alone
alternative asset manager after Carlyle CG and
Apollo APO. More important, once these assets are
part of Blackstone, the partnership can earn fees
for 10 to 11 years, the useful life of a private equity
fund. Institutional investors (nearly 80% of industry
AUM) prefer to invest in established managers,
and an estimated 90% of industry asset flows goes
to funds with assets over $1 billion.
Blackstone is unique among publicly traded
alternative asset managers in that it has scale
across multiple key asset areas (real estate, private
equity, credit, and hedge fund allocation). It
has access to more than 1,300 limited partners and
more than 900 investment professionals. We
estimate that about 60% to 70% of Blackstone's
LPs invest in more than one fund, and about
20% invest across all four major Blackstone divisions,
a sign of a very strong cross-selling platform.
We're also impressed by Blackstone Alternative
Asset Management. BAAM has been one
of the larger allocators of capital to hedge funds
via a fund-of-funds model. It is a key source
of competitive advantage due to its ability to
develop innovative and custom strategies (typically
through commingled or separately managed
accounts), rapidly expand its client base (which
currently includes more than 500 clients),
and earn extra fees from its intangible assets (its
reputation and existing relationships). The
attraction for LPs to BAAM, in our view, is
Blackstone's reputation and ability to access
up-and-coming managers.
Blackstone's real estate segment is another key
contributor to its wide moat. It can purchase entire
real estate portfolios (or REITs), whereas its rivals
can typically purchase only single buildings.
This scale advantage gives Blackstone an edge in
situations where distressed sellers are looking to
offload an entire real estate portfolio. Blackstone's
recent purchase of $14 billion in GE Capital
assets is a prime example. GE's management team
granted Blackstone an exclusive bid because
of its reputation for obtaining the needed capital
and closing a transaction quickly. Blackstone has a
history of working with GE, having purchased
$2.7 billion in U.S. apartments in 2013. Long-standing
relationships with buyers and sellers are critical



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017

Contents
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover1
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 1
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 2
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Contents
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 4
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 5
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 6
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 7
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 8
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 9
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 10
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 11
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 12
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 13
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 14
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 15
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 16
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 17
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 18
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 19
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 20
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 21
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 22
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 23
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 24
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 25
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 26
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 27
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 28
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 29
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 30
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 31
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 32
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 33
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 34
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 35
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 36
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 37
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 38
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 39
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 40
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 41
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 42
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 43
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 44
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 45
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 46
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 47
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 48
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 49
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 50
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 51
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 52
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 53
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 54
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 55
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 56
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 57
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 58
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 59
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 60
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 61
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 62
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 63
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 64
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 65
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 66
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 67
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 68
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 69
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 70
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 71
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 72
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 73
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 74
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 75
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 76
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 77
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 78
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 79
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 80
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 81
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 82
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 83
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 84
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 85
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 86
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 87
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 88
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 89
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 90
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 91
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 92
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 93
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 94
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 95
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 96
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 97
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 98
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 99
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 100
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 101
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 102
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 103
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 104
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 105
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 106
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 107
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 108
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 109
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 110
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 111
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 112
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover3
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20191201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20141011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20141201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/investorconference2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20091011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008catalog
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com