Paul Costello, former inaugural chief executive of the NZ Super Fund, has been appointed Blackstone Group's non-executive chairman for Australia and New Zealand just after the business completed a big deal here.
Blackstone, one of the world's largest private equity firms managing assets valued at US$150 billion ($186 billion), said Costello would help guide its development in the region and represent the firm which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has 22 offices around the world.
Blackstone announced this week it was buying 75 New Zealand Burger King restaurants and the rights to expand the fast-food chain.
Costello was most recently general manager of Australia's Future Fund.
He will report to Tony James, Blackstone's president, and Michael Chae, who heads private equity for the firm in Asia-Pacific and is also responsible for limited partner relationships in the region.
Costello, formerly of Canterbury and Wellington, lives in Melbourne but was in Auckland when he headed the NZ Super Fund.
Chae said the Australia/New Zealand region was a market of long-term importance to Blackstone for the increasing number of institutions there and as a source of investment opportunities for the firm's funds.
"Paul's background superbly positions him to guide us as we grow our business in Australia and New Zealand," Chae said.
Costello said he was proud to be joining Blackstone.
"My career to date has been focused on the development of business and investment strategies to maximise returns for the risk taken. I believe Blackstone is very well positioned to deliver on this objective to investors."