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Blackstone Group LP headquarters stands in New York, U.S., on Friday, April 14, 2017. Blackstone Group LP is scheduled to release earnings figures on April 20. Photograph: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Blackstone’s private equity boss takes board seat at fintech startup

Joseph Baratta, global head of private equity at US asset management giant Blackstone Group, has joined the board of Magilla Loans, a California-based fintech company.

Magilla Loans describes itself as ‘America’s search engine for loans’. The platform connects people who want to borrow money to lenders including banks.

Borrowers can search and compare different loans without having to provide information such as their name, social security number or phone number, Magilla’s website says.

The website claims to issue loan proposals within 24 hours of someone applying for a loan. The company has already helped facilitate billions of dollars of loans since its website launched in January 2016, according to a statement.

Magilla typically lends to individuals seeking to raise money to invest in businesses or buy real estate, its website says.

Baratta brings two decades’ experience working at the world’s largest private equity firm.

“The addition of one of the industry’s top financial leaders helps bring Magilla’s mission to light; making smart capital available to any borrower in the United States,” said Dean Sioukas, Chief Executive of Magilla Loans.

Baratta will sit on the company’s board alongside Rao Unnava, one of the founders of consumer-review site Angie’s List.

Baratta joined Blackstone’s New York office in 1998 before moving to London in 2001, where he helped set up the firm’s European private equity arm.

He moved back to London just over a decade later to head up the firm’s global private equity business, which manages $119bn of assets, according to the firm’s website.

Before joining Blackstone, Baratta worked for investment firms Tinicum Incorporated and McCown De Leeuw & Company and in the mergers and acquisitions department at US investment bank Morgan Stanley.

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Oliver Smith


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