The Financial Times’ private equity-focused publication FundFire yesterday had a long article (“Blackstone, TPG Face New Pressure on Puerto Rico Loans” (Paywall)) on efforts by community groups and Puerto Rican diaspora groups to get private equity firms TPG Capital and The Blackstone Group to halt foreclosures in Puerto Rico and provide a path for families to stay in their homes.
Blackstone Group and TPG are in discussions with an activist coalition pushing for a year-long moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in Puerto Rico as the island continues its painful recovery from last fall’s devastating hurricanes. And new pressure may yet come from the managers’ clients, as the activists are now lobbying big pensions invested in Blackstone and TPG’s funds.
The activists so far won a sympathetic ear at New Jersey’s $77.6 billion pension system and a cordial reception before Washington State’s $128.8 billion investment board at meetings held this month.
The article continues:
For private fund managers, a natural disaster presents a clear choice to not compound the problems of people impacted by the event – and not an instance to check investors’ temperature before acting, says Bruce Frumerman, CEO at Frumerman & Nemeth, a consultant on communications, sales, and marketing.
“With a problem where it’s so obvious who is getting hurt, you draw a line,” he says. “You need to be prepared and go to your investor base first.”