John D. Dionne

Lecturer of Business Administration

John D. Dionne is a Senior Advisor to Blackstone and a Lecturer in the Finance Unit at the Harvard Business School.

Until he retired from his position as a Senior Managing Director of Blackstone in 2013, John was most recently its Global Head of the Private Equity Business Development and Investor Relations Groups, and also served as a member of its Private Equity Investment and Valuation Committees. During his tenure in this position, Mr. Dionne led global fundraising efforts of over $25 billion for three new private equity investment vehicles in the period immediately following the financial crisis.

Mr. Dionne originally joined Blackstone in 2004 as the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of the Blackstone Distressed Securities Fund, the firm's initial entry into the single-manager hedge fund business, with peak assets under management of over $2 billion. During this period, he also served on the Investment Committees of Blackstone’s GSO and Kalix investment businesses.

Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Dionne was for several years a Partner and Portfolio Manager for Bennett Restructuring Funds, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund specializing in financially troubled companies, during which time he also served on several official and adhoc creditor committees.

Previously, Mr. Dionne was a Partner at Saugatuck Capital where he invested in middle-market buyouts and restructured troubled portfolio companies. From 1991 through 1996, he was Director of Corporate Development for a predecessor of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. John began his career at Price Waterhouse as a public accountant.

Mr. Dionne has served on the board of directors of many companies and not-for-profit institutions. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

John received academic honors while earning an MBA from the Harvard Business School and was a magna cum laude graduate from the University of Scranton, where he is a past Chair of its' Board of Trustees.


Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Texas Teachers and the New Texas Way

    Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, Luis M. Viceira, John D. Dionne and Nathaniel Burbank

    In 2011 Britt Harris, the Chief Investment Officer for the $107.4 billion Teachers Retirement System of Texas (TRS), was considering whether to pursue strategic partnerships with a group of large private equity firms. After spending four years aggressively moving the fifth largest pension fund in the United States into alternative asset classes, Harris felt that TRS shouldn't just participate in private equity funds as a typical limited partner. Rather, under his proposal TRS would offer carefully vetted firms multi-billion dollar investments through a customized fund structure that had fewer allocation mandates than traditional fund structures, and guarantees to reinvest 50% of any investment gains back into the investment vehicle. In exchange, Harris hoped to receive a highly customized compensation structure and gain greater access to investment professionals within the participating firms.

    Keywords: Texas; TRS; Texas Teachers; Private Equity; Texas;

    Citation:

    Rhodes-Kropf, Matthew, Luis M. Viceira, John D. Dionne, and Nathaniel Burbank. "Texas Teachers and the New Texas Way." Harvard Business School Case 214-091, April 2014. (Revised October 2015.) View Details
  2. Blackstone at Age 30

    Josh Lerner, John D. Dionne and Amram Migdal

    Since its IPO in 2007 and following the global financial crisis, Blackstone largely outpaced its alternative investment firm peers in assets under management, new business launches, profitability, and market capitalization. Under the leadership of Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and CEO, and president and COO Hamilton ("Tony") James, Blackstone's growth derived from substantial horizontal expansion into new alternative asset products and services, both organically and through acquisition. These included businesses in private equity, real estate, funds of hedge funds, alternative credit, opportunistic transactions ("Tactical Opportunities"), and secondaries investments. The firm has also innovated in sourcing capital from a variety of limited partners. Blackstone's culture of centralized investment processes and risk management coupled with entrepreneurial leadership contributed to its growth in important ways, but the firm faces important external and internal challenges as it seeks to continue its growth.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Private Equity; Financial Services Industry; New York (city, NY);

    Citation:

    Lerner, Josh, John D. Dionne, and Amram Migdal. "Blackstone at Age 30." Harvard Business School Case 816-013, January 2016. (Revised March 2016.) View Details
  3. Eastman Kodak Company: Restructuring a Melting Ice Cube

    Stuart C. Gilson, John D. Dionne and Sarah L. Abbott

    In May 2013, senior managers of GSO Capital Partners, an $80 billion credit-oriented investment firm owned by The Blackstone Group, are considering what to do next with their investment in the senior secured debt of Eastman Kodak Company. Once a great company and an icon of American business, Kodak had fallen on desperately hard economic times as its traditional business of manufacturing cameras and photographic film had all but disappeared with the rise of digital photography, causing its annual revenues to plummet from $13 billion to $6 billion, and its stock price to fall by 95%, between 2003 and 2011. Having taken various positions in Kodak's debt during the previous four years, GSO is now faced with a major decision. Under the company's recently proposed plan of reorganization, secured creditors were to be given 85% of the company's common stock, but unsecured creditors objected to the plan. Now, six months later, GSO has brought an amended plan to the table under which it would commit to backstop a $406 million equity rights offering that would be made directly to all the unsecured creditors. This offer might bring the objecting creditors on board but could also require an additional large capital commitment by GSO, which was already heavily invested in a highly troubled business that many viewed as a "melting ice cube."

    Keywords: Restructuring; Finance; Strategy; Investment; United States;

    Citation:

    Gilson, Stuart C., John D. Dionne, and Sarah L. Abbott. "Eastman Kodak Company: Restructuring a Melting Ice Cube." Harvard Business School Case 216-006, August 2015. (Revised February 2016.) View Details