PE HUB Wire Highlights, 9.26.19

Court Square looks for staple from Fund III secondary; Blackstone’s Korngold says fintechs won’t displace banks

Morning, Hubsters! It is I, Luisa, back from PartnerConnect West.

What can I say about San Francisco? It was hot. The hotel was amazing, the weather good and the people were interesting as always.

Now I’ve been covering fintech for a while. I remember when people didn’t think much of the sector, considering most products and services little more than debit cards with some frills. Fintech was often regulated to the FIG group at investment banks. That’s changed in the past few years. Payments produced some of the largest deals this year, while robo advisors are still raising big money, and insurtechs are proving they’re worthy of investment.

So, when Jon Korngold — yes, that Jon Korngold — stopped by to say that he’s a little worried about the “euphoria” surrounding the sector, I stopped and listened. Korngold was fintech when fintech wasn’t cool, spending the past 18 years at General Atlantic heading up their financial services and healthcare units. He moved over to Blackstone earlier this year to lead their new growth unit.

“I love fintech,” said Korngold, who spoke at a keynote at PartnerConnect West. “I’ve been one of its champions.”

Financial services, probably more than any other sector, has been the source of “tremendous innovation,” he said. That doesn’t mean everything is good.

“Fast forward four to five years in time, we’re going to look back at this era of fintech investing and realize that there are many more casualties than successes,” Korngold said.