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Blackstone goes all-in on Taylor Swift fandom with own ‘Alternatives Era’ holiday video

NEW YORK – No private equity firm will ever come close to the pop culture domination Taylor Swift achieved in 2023. But that is not stopping Blackstone from trying.

For its annual holiday video, an internal production that skirts the line between corporate self-promotion and self-parody, Blackstone goes all-in on its fandom for the singer-songwriter.

Welcome to the era of the corporate Swiftie.

The video is an annual tradition dating back to 2018, giving executives the chance to have their The Office moment. Often, the firm’s investments are referenced. One year featured a cameo by actress Reese Witherspoon.

But Blackstone does not own a piece of Swift, and she is not in the video. Nor are her actual songs.

The Swiftie homage began when company president Jon Gray went to a Swift Eras Tour concert with his daughters. Back in the office, he proposed making it the theme of the video, which opens with Mr Gray proposing the company go on tour to raise its next fund.

A few people express worry. Ms Christine Anderson, the firm’s global head of corporate affairs, muses that just this one time, it would be good to be confused with American financial giant BlackRock.

But the idea gets the stamp of approval from chief executive Stephen Schwarzman, who dons a shimmery rainbow jacket – like the one Swift wore to sing Karma on her tour – to point out that Blackstone “is not to be confused with BlackRock”.

Senior staff bop through a pop confection, lip-syncing lyrics about the firm’s “alternatives era”.

The video was sent out on Dec 14 morning to employees, investors, financial advisers and leaders of portfolio companies. BLOOMBERG

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