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(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The Blackstone Group is working to launch both venture capital and infrastructure investing programs, according to comments made during Thursday's Q1 earnings call. No specifics were disclosed.

Venture capital: The veteran firm has long avoided real venture, even while some of its peers got involved in the dotcom days. But it has been doing some growth equity investing out of its Tactical Opportunities platform, and recently added early Facebook backer Jim Breyer to its board of directors.

Infrastructure: This is a fairly obvious move, particularly given President Trump's ask for the private sector to match a $200 billion federal outlay on infrastructure by a 5:1 ratio over 10 years.

Blackstone (NYSE: BX) crushed Wall Street estimates, reporting 82 cents in economic net income vs. 68 cent consensus (via Thomson Reuters). This also is more than double Blackstone's 31 cent ENI in Q1 2016. Credit here goes to rising values and distributions. Total AUM was up 7% year-over-year while fee-earning AUM climbed 15%, while those numbers were 4% and 36%, respectively, in the private equity segment.

Two quotables from the earnings call:

  1. President Tony James: "I would say, in general, there's no pressure on fee structures."
  2. CEO Steve Schwarzman: "I've been racking my brain to make sense of this disconnect. If our shares were valued the same as the average S&P company based on dividend yield, the share price would be over $100 a share instead of the $30, where it now is. If we were valued using the average P multiple, the price would be over $50. That's just math. In any case, this disconnect remains a mystery to me. I leave it to you to figure it out."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 min ago - Axios on HBO

GOP senator smacks Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told “Axios on HBO” he’s not sure former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination if he ran in 2024 — a rare voice of criticism from within the party.

  • When I raised the conventional wisdom that Trump would be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in.“
  • I don't know that,” the senator said during our interview in Chalmette, La.
12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress begins yearend sprint

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House and Senate face an onslaught of deadlines key to fulfilling members' campaign promises and keeping the government afloat as they return from recess this week.

Why it matters: The next few weeks will be pivotal to enacting President Biden's agenda — and determining how the Democratic Party fares in the midterm elections.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.