John Studzinski, an international dealmaker who became a fixture at Davos, a human-rights advocate and an adviser to the Vatican, is leaving Blackstone Group LP.

In an interview, Studzinski, 62, said he’s ready for “some new challenges” after 12 years at the New York-based firm, including the past three as vice chairman of investor relations and business development. His departure, at the end of the month, was announced to employees Thursday in a memo from Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman.

“John has made a significant mark across the firm globally,” Schwarzman wrote.

Studzinski made his reputation in London and on Wall Street -- earning the nickname “Studs” -- as an investment banker, initially with Morgan Stanley and later at HSBC Holdings Plc. But Blackstone is not the same partner-owned firm that Studzinski joined in 2006 as head of its restructuring and merger-advisory unit.

A younger cadre of managers led by new President Jonathan Gray is moving up, and many veterans like Tom Hill, who built Blackstone’s hedge fund group, are moving on. The business Studzinski was hired to run was spun off three years ago.

“I certainly could have stayed,” said Studzinski, who as vice chairman focused on sovereign institutions and wealthy families. “It’s a bit like cutting back branches on a tree: You need to encourage new growth.”

‘He’s Unusual’

A gifted networker, he counted Pepsico Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi and activist investor Bill Ackman among his clients. At Studzinski’s annual dinner at the World Economic Forum, guests found themselves sharing fondue with Banco Santander SA Chairman Ana Botin one year and New York Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger the next.

“What I liked was he wasn’t tied to any one industry or to a point of view that would maximize banking fees but rather was interested in getting to the right solution for the company and in the truth,” Nooyi said in an interview. “He’s unusual.”

During the financial crisis, he tackled one of the most challenging assignments of the period -- the restructuring of American International Group Inc. He chose to stay at Blackstone after the 2015 spinoff of its advisory business and repurposed his dealmaking skills. He courted new sources of capital outside the U.S., forging ties with billionaire families, including the Rothschilds, the Swarovskis and the Olayans, as well as Japan Post Bank Co. and the government of Norway.

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