Off-duty: Blackstone’s Joe Baratta on gravel biking, Cloud Cuckoo Land and the Dallas Cowboys

Baratta's shares his New Year's resolution, books he's reading and high and low career moments, as well as his fantasy management role in the NFL.

As part of our January cover story in Buyouts magazine, we asked Blackstone‘s Joe Baratta, among other big names in PE, his thoughts about where the market is headed and what some of the big issues will be in 2022. He and the other participants gave us an abundance of interesting material regarding inflation, supply chains, ESG and other hot topics.

To lighten things up a bit, we also asked Baratta (as well as Carlyle Group’s Brian Bernasek and Karen Frank of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan) a few personal questions regarding what he does with his life when he’s not chasing deals.

What is your New Year’s resolution?
Worry less.

If you weren’t in PE, what job would you like to have?
General manager of the Dallas Cowboys.

How do you relax when you’re not working?
Gravel biking.

What book are you reading right now?
Cloud Cuckoo Land (by Anthony Doerr).

Who in your career do you regard as a mentor?
Steve Schwarzman and Tony James.

Professionally, what was your toughest moment?
In the last long bull market (2001-08), it was easy to get overconfident. I lost the firm money in a restaurant roll-up in the UK – painful.

What was your most rewarding moment?
Helping build Merlin Entertainments from a small company operating aquariums and the London Dungeon in 2005 into a FTSE 100 company 10 years later – and we still own it!