The Bob Johnston Podcast

Titans of Finance – Jon Korngold, Blackstone

April 01, 2021 Bob Johnston Season 1 Episode 36
The Bob Johnston Podcast
Titans of Finance – Jon Korngold, Blackstone
Chapters
The Bob Johnston Podcast
Titans of Finance – Jon Korngold, Blackstone
Apr 01, 2021 Season 1 Episode 36
Bob Johnston

Despite a global pandemic, it’s been a remarkable year for the markets, both public and private. The Dow and NASDAQ reached (and are still reaching) record highs and the number of private equity and venture capital deals has been at a fever pitch. 

My guest today, Jon Korngold, has a front row seat from the world’s largest investment firm – Blackstone. Jon is the Global Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG), which provides capital, resources and a deep network to high growth companies.

Jon and I dig into the current markets as well as BXG’s investment philosophy, focus and incredible resources that the firm brings to its portfolio companies. 

Of note: Jon started fundraising last March at the beginning of the pandemic and recently closed the fundraising with subscriptions in excess of the $4.5Bn initial target (Boom!).

Many VC and Growth Equity firms have an incentive to invest in a lot of companies because a bull market naturally encourages more activity when “all boats rise” and so that they can deploy their funds faster en route to raising their next funds. In contrast, Jon and his BXG team have differentiated themselves with an investment philosophy characterized by a comparatively more-focused portfolio construction, along with a more operationally intensive approach to partnering with entrepreneurs to build companies of significance over a long-term horizon.

We touch on a number of other areas in our conversation, as well, ranging from his view about sitting on boards (hint: less is more) and taking a thematic approach to investing…his early career at Goldman Sachs and working in Beijing…plus Jon's background coming from a family of doctors and why that instilled a strong sense of commitment in him to support children’s charities.

Jon’s Bio

Jon Korngold is the Global Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG), which is focused on providing capital to companies seeking to manage the execution risks associated with high-growth environments. Jon is a member of both the BXG and Tactical Opportunities Investment Committees.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2019, Jon was head of General Atlantic’s Global Financial Services and Healthcare sectors, Chairman of the firm’s Portfolio Committee, and was a member of the firm’s Management and Investment Committees.

Jon also previously worked at Goldman Sachs in the Principal Investment Area and in the Mergers & Acquisitions groups in London and New York, respectively. Jon has spent extensive time in China, where he studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking University and did pro bono work for the U.S. Embassy’s Foreign Commercial Service in Beijing.

Jon is active with Harvard University, where he serves on the Harvard College Fund’s Executive Committee. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Commissioned Kentucky Colonel, and a member of the Rockefeller University Council. He also serves as a Trustee of The Dalton School, of The Central Park Conservancy and of the 92nd Street Y.

Jon received an AB in Economics from Harvard College, graduating with Honors, and he received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts,

Show Notes

Despite a global pandemic, it’s been a remarkable year for the markets, both public and private. The Dow and NASDAQ reached (and are still reaching) record highs and the number of private equity and venture capital deals has been at a fever pitch. 

My guest today, Jon Korngold, has a front row seat from the world’s largest investment firm – Blackstone. Jon is the Global Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG), which provides capital, resources and a deep network to high growth companies.

Jon and I dig into the current markets as well as BXG’s investment philosophy, focus and incredible resources that the firm brings to its portfolio companies. 

Of note: Jon started fundraising last March at the beginning of the pandemic and recently closed the fundraising with subscriptions in excess of the $4.5Bn initial target (Boom!).

Many VC and Growth Equity firms have an incentive to invest in a lot of companies because a bull market naturally encourages more activity when “all boats rise” and so that they can deploy their funds faster en route to raising their next funds. In contrast, Jon and his BXG team have differentiated themselves with an investment philosophy characterized by a comparatively more-focused portfolio construction, along with a more operationally intensive approach to partnering with entrepreneurs to build companies of significance over a long-term horizon.

We touch on a number of other areas in our conversation, as well, ranging from his view about sitting on boards (hint: less is more) and taking a thematic approach to investing…his early career at Goldman Sachs and working in Beijing…plus Jon's background coming from a family of doctors and why that instilled a strong sense of commitment in him to support children’s charities.

Jon’s Bio

Jon Korngold is the Global Head of Blackstone Growth (BXG), which is focused on providing capital to companies seeking to manage the execution risks associated with high-growth environments. Jon is a member of both the BXG and Tactical Opportunities Investment Committees.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2019, Jon was head of General Atlantic’s Global Financial Services and Healthcare sectors, Chairman of the firm’s Portfolio Committee, and was a member of the firm’s Management and Investment Committees.

Jon also previously worked at Goldman Sachs in the Principal Investment Area and in the Mergers & Acquisitions groups in London and New York, respectively. Jon has spent extensive time in China, where he studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking University and did pro bono work for the U.S. Embassy’s Foreign Commercial Service in Beijing.

Jon is active with Harvard University, where he serves on the Harvard College Fund’s Executive Committee. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Commissioned Kentucky Colonel, and a member of the Rockefeller University Council. He also serves as a Trustee of The Dalton School, of The Central Park Conservancy and of the 92nd Street Y.

Jon received an AB in Economics from Harvard College, graduating with Honors, and he received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

This podcast is brought to you by Policygenius. While you’re gearing up for spring cleaning, don’t forget to dust off your home and auto insurance policies with Policygenius. Re-shop your rates and you could save up to $1,055. Head to Policygenius to get started right now. Policygenius. When it comes to insurance, it’s nice to get it right.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts,