GSO and Owl Rock expand regional origination efforts with office openings

The two firms look to increase their presence in California, and GSO is also putting roots down in Toronto.

GSO and Owl Rock are both opening new offices in North America to increase their regional origination efforts.

The two New York-based firms are both setting up posts in the Bay Area. Owl Rock is opening its second office in Menlo Park, California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Blackstone is opening two offices, one in San Francisco and one in Toronto.

Owl Rock said it is opening the Menlo Park office to help facilitate its technology lending business by expanding its resources and reach in that area, according to a press release.

Owl Rock hired Pravin Vazirani and Erik Bissonnette to work in the new office as co-portfolio managers. Vazirani was formerly a managing director at Menlo Ventures, where he worked for more than 16 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. Bissonnette was formerly a managing director at CapitalSource for more than six years, he listed on his LinkedIn profile.

Blackstone said it plans to open its two new offices to be able to better tap into those “major markets”, according to a press release. GSO chief executive officer Dwight Scott said these new offices were a “logical extension of our presence” in those areas. GSO expects the offices to open within the first half of 2019.

Ferdinand Niederhofer, a New York-based managing director at GSO, will head up the new San Francisco office. Michael Carruthers, a London-based managing director, will oversee the Canadian and Midwest origination efforts from Toronto.

GSO also has offices in London, Dublin, Houston, Frankfurt and southern California.

Owl Rock declined to comment. GSO did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

GSO has more than $128 billion in assets under management and is the credit arm of global asset management firm Blackstone. Blackstone has more than $472 billion in assets under management.

Owl Rock is a credit firm focused on lending to the mid-market with an emphasis on technology lending. The firm has more than $12 billion in assets under management.