The boss of Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity investors, is to headline the government’s flagship investment conference after courting some of the world’s leading businesspeople to attend.
Sky News understands that Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman, CEO and co-founder of New York-listed Blackstone, is to give a keynote address at the Global Investment Summit in London on 29 November.
Blackstone has been one of the most prolific private equity investors in Britain over the last two decades, owning companies such as Center Parcs, the NEC exhibition centre and the Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments.
Mr Schwarzman is regarded as one of the most respected investors in the world, having built Blackstone into an asset management giant with $1trn under management.
Blackstone and the Department for Business and Trade declined to comment on Monday.
In September, Sky News revealed that Whitehall officials were courting Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire and owner of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, to attend the GIS as part of attempts to bolster Britain’s claim to be a leading magnet for overseas investment.
It is unclear whether Mr Musk is likely to attend.
The government claims that the inaugural GIS, held in October 2021, secured £9.7bn of new foreign investment, creating over 30,000 new jobs “and supporting growth in vital sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes, and carbon capture and storage”.
Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, and Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, were among those who attended the 2021 event.
A spokesman for the Department for Business and Trade previously said: “We look forward to welcoming around 200 CEOs and the world’s A-list investors to the second Global Investment Summit in November, to showcase why the UK is a top destination for international investment.
“Hosted by the PM and business and trade secretary [Kemi Badenoch], attendees will hear first-hand how the government intends to build upon the competitive business environment that makes the UK one of the world’s most attractive investment destinations.
“The Summit will drive investment into all corners of the UK, creating real benefits for local businesses and communities including economic growth and jobs.”
Sources say that this year’s event will aim to highlight British successes in areas including life sciences, deep tech, nuclear fusion and small modular reactors.
It would also seek to demonstrate that capital investment in Britain was being unlocked by post-Brexit financial liberalisation measures included in the ‘Edinburgh reforms’ outlined by the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, earlier this year.
The event will be held during a fragile period for perceptions of the UK as an investment destination, with uncertainty over the economic outlook in the run-up to, and beyond, the next general election causing many companies to pause investment decisions.
Source : SkyNews