Revisiting the End of an Era at Blackstone Group

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The departure of Bennett Goodman will reverberate across the company for years.

The Bennett Goodman era comes to a close as the co-founder of GSO Capital Partners is stepping down.

Along with J. Albert Smith III and Douglas Ostrover, Goodman founded GSO in 2005 and sold the operations to Blackstone in 2010.

During that time, GSO has grown from a $10 billion hedge fund to a credit business with almost $140 billion under management. He is the last of the founders to leave. Ostrover departed in 2016, while Smith exited the firm last year.

The Influence of Bennett Goodman

Goodman learned the credit investing business from the man who had more influence on credit investing and trading than almost anyone else in history.

He started his career in 1984 at Drexel Burnham as an investment banker. He learned the intricacies of high yield bonds and leveraged lending form Michael Milken. Goodman left Drexel in 1988 and moved to DLJ where he built a leading leveraged lending business. When Credit Suisse bought DLJ in the early 2000s, Goodman shifted his focus from being an investor to being an investment banker.

Goodman now plans to open a family office. In this role, he would manage the wealth he has accumulated in his years on Wall Street. He will also remain as Chairman of GSO’s business development company, which lends to middle-market companies.

In addition, Goodman will serve as a senior advisor to Blackstone. In that role, he will work to expand the firm’s direct lending business. This role requires the raising of capital and serving on matters related to deal origination, investment committees, and regulatory matters.

In a press release announcing Goodman’s retirement Blackstone, CEO Stephen Schwarzman said: “I am grateful to Bennett for the tremendous contributions he has made to the firm as an integral member of our management team over the past twelve years. Under his leadership, we built a world-class credit platform with industry-leading returns and an exceptional team to take the business forward. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Bennett as we scale our direct lending business to its full potential.”

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