Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that Inaki Echave will join its private equity group as a Managing Director, with primary responsibility for Spain and Portugal. Mr. Echave was most recently a partner with Magnum Capital, the largest independent buy-out fund on the Iberian Peninsula. He will work alongside Claudio Boada, Blackstone’s Chairman for Iberia. Lionel Assant, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone and head of its European private equity business, said, “We are delighted that someone of Inaki’s talent and experience is coming to Blackstone. There is a great need in the region to deploy our long-term patient capital to grow companies and create jobs and value.” Mr. Echave added, “I am very pleased to be joining Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm. It has a global network, and unparalleled experience and expertise improving the companies it invests in. I am looking forward to being part of the investing team.” Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s Global Head of its Private Equity business, said, “Blackstone sees great opportunity in Spain. We have faith that Spain’s leaders are taking actions to put the economy on sounder footing, and we believe in the long-term potential of that economy. Inaki is a terrific investor who shares our core investing values: partnering with good companies and their management to make them better.” In 2010, Blackstone bought Mivisa, a Spanish packaging company. Since then it has invested over €35m in the business, grown sales by over 11% and employment by 5%. Blackstone has $51 billion in private equity assets under management globally as of the end of 2012 and as of the same date has $16 billion to deploy globally in future private equity investments. It invested or committed $5 billion in private equity last year. Before joining Magnum in 2006, Mr. Echave worked for 3i Group, where he served as a Director of the Pan-European Buyout team based in London and a Director of the Spanish/Portuguese team, based in Madrid. Before 3i, he worked for JP Morgan Partners (now CCMP Capital Advisors) in Madrid and London, re-launching their activities in Spain. He started his career as a strategic consultant at Bain & Company in a variety of sectors and companies in Spain and the United Kingdom.