Blackstone appoints France chairman

Blackstone France, the US group's Paris-based advisory team, has appointed former French ambassador to NATO Gerard Errera as chairman.

The former secretary general to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gerard Errera, will head Blackstone’s French advisory team after he was appointed chairman on Tuesday.

Under Errera’s watch the team will now play a key role in growing Blackstone’s European advisory business as part of the firm’s further expansion in France and Europe, the firm said in a statement. Most recently Blackstone advised the Private Creditor Investor Committee in negotiating Greece’s €206 billion sovereign debt restructuring.

“France has many world-class companies with leading positions in their industries and Gerard’s advice will continue to be invaluable both in advising French companies and helping us find opportunities to invest,” said Blackstone chief executive and co-founder, Stephen Schwarzman, in a statement.

Blackstone has other interests in France with GSO, the firm’s credit division, having €1.6 billion invested in France-domiciled businesses. Its real estate funds also bought Motel 6 from French-based hotel owners Accor for €1.9 billion.

Since 2009 Errera has been a special advisor to the Blackstone Group's France-based advisory team. which has worked on deals including Orangina-Schweppes and healthcare provider Vitalia. 

Errera worked as secretary general and director of political affairs at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also acted as French ambassador to both the UK and NATO.

The appointment comes a week after the announcement of Joe Barrata’s promotion to head of global private equity at Blackstone. He joins Schwarzman and Blackstone president Tony James, among others, on the firm’s management committee.