Europe: Quirolo joins Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft as a partner

cadwalader David Quirolo has joined CadwaladerWickersham & Taft as a partner in the Global Capital Markets Practice Group, in the firm’s London office. Quirolo joins from Ashurst, where he was a partner.

His practice focuses primarily on CLOs and other securitization and repackaging transactions involving various asset types, and advises arrangers and collateral managers as well as issuers, managers, originators, and investors in a variety of structured finance transactions, both in the U.S. and Europe.

Prior to joining Ashurst, Quirolo spent eight years in Cadwalader’s New York and London offices. – Sarah Husband


Europe: Hirji joins BlackRock’s Credit Enhanced Strategies team

blackrock_logo_2218Aly Hirji has joined BlackRock’s Credit Enhanced Strategies Europe team, run by Michael Phelps, according to sources.

He joins as portfolio manager, and will be responsible for building out the leveraged loan product and complementing the investment processes for existing funds.

Hirji joins from New Amsterdam Capital, where he was partner and portfolio manager. He joined NAC in 2004 from J.P. Morgan.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, BlackRock’s assets under management totalled $3.792 trillion across equity, fixed income, cash management, alternative investment, real estate, and advisory strategies. – Isabell Witt


Healthcare Finance Group adds two new hires for business development

101036825-2316d510d06283564e6ca6818894d0918faf5db9.530x298Healthcare Finance Group announced two new hires today that expand the specialty finance firm’s business development effort. Andy Phelps and Mark Farlin joined the company as Senior Vice Presidents of Business Development.

Based in San Diego, Calif., Farlin will cover healthcare providers in California and the southwest, including Texas and Oklahoma, and on medical device and other healthcare manufacturers throughout the western U.S., according to the firm. Phelps will be focused on originating transactions directly from healthcare companies and through intermediaries in the southeast. He will be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

Farlin joins HFG from Olympus Financial Services and prior experience includes positions at Citicapital’s healthcare division and at GE Healthcare Financial Services. Phelps was previously at PNC Bank and before that he worked at Fifth Third Bank and Wells Fargo (Wachovia).

New York-based HFG is a specialty finance company that provides senior debt financing to middle market healthcare companies with target transaction sizes between $5-500 million. HFG is a portfolio company of publicly traded BDC Fifth Street Finance Corp., which acquired the firm in 2013. – Staff reports


Golub Capital team adds two members for middle-market private equity lending

imgresGolub Capital has expanded its lending team with two hires who will focus on deals to upper middle-market private equity sponsors, a business area that the lender expects to increase in part due to changing bank regulations.

Hyun Chang joined Golub from J.P. Morgan Securities, where he was an executive director in the financial sponsors group. Michael Meagher joined from Deutsche Bank Securities, where he was a director in the financial sponsors group. They both started in August.

The two join a team of more than 60 and will report to Andy Steuerman, who is head of middle-market lending at Golub. Chang and Meagher will focus on the upper middle market, defined as companies that generate annual EBITDA of $40-80 million.

Golub defines its core middle market as companies generating annual revenue of $15-50 million and the lower middle market as those with EBITDA of $5-15 million.

Steuerman said tougher regulations for banks will result in more demand for lending to the upper middle market.

“It’s demand-driven,” Steuerman said of the hires. “We’ve seen some of the largest private equity firms decide to go back into the upper middle market.” – Abby Latour


Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, distressed debt, private equity, and more



Senior team from Brazos forms new middle market PE firm

A senior team from Brazos Private Equity Partners, a private equity firm that is winding down, today unveiled plans to set up a new firm targeting control investments of middle market companies.

 brazosRandall Fojtasek, former co-founder and co-CEO of Brazos Private Equity Partners, LLC, will lead CenterOak Partners. Ex-Brazos senior executives Michael SalimLucas CutlerJason Sutherland, and William Henry are joining him.

Dallas-based CenterOak Partners is targeting buyouts and recapitalizations in the U.S. industrial growth, consumer, and business services sectors, with a particular focus on southern and southwestern companies. The new firm plans to build a diversified portfolio of platform investments and invest $20-70 million of equity.

At Brazos, Fojtasek managed $1.4 billion of private equity capital across three funds and oversaw the deployment of over $2.5 billion in transaction value.

In March, peHub reported that Brazos Private Equity Partners would split and raise separate funds in an amicable departure of partners that also included Jeff Fronterhouse and Patrick McGee.

Last week, Brazos announced the close of a dividend recapitalization of optometrist and dentist supplier Vision Source with financing from Golub Capital. In June, Brazos-backed wine distributor Winebow placed debt backing a merger with Vintner Group, a portfolio company of Brockway Moran & Partners.

“They’re still going to manage the portfolio companies at Brazos through the entire lifecycle,” said Megan Griffin at BackBay Communications. “It was a timely moment for the partners to pursue other business opportunities.”

The Brazos Equity Fund III closed oversubscribed in September 2008 with capital commitments of over $700 million, targeting middle market companies with enterprise values of $50-400 million mainly in southwestern U.S. manufacturing, consumer, healthcare, distribution, and financial services companies.

Brazos II closed in 2005 with commitments of $400 million. The first Brazos fund closed in 2000 with commitments of $250 million. – Abby Latour


Europe: Taneri to join SG CIB’s leveraged capital markets division

 societe_general_logo_1919Didem Taneri is set to join Societe Generale CIB’s leveraged capital markets division, reporting to managing director Ignacio Blasco, who heads up the team, according to market sources.

Taneri joins from UniCredit, where she has worked as a director in the leveraged loan capital markets team since 2011. Prior to UniCredit, Didem spent five years at Dresdner Kleinwort/Commerzbank, within its leveraged and infrastructure loan capital markets teams. Previously, she worked at ING and J.P. Morgan, primarily within leveraged finance syndication.

A spokesperson from SG CIB declined to comment. – Sarah Husband


Europe: Reynolds to join Spire Partners as CIO

spire-03Rob Reynolds will join Spire Partners as CIO and partner, according to a statement from the firm.

Reynolds joins from 3i Debt Management, where he spent three years, most recently as head of its Credit Opportunities Fund, and portfolio manager of a number of its CLOs. He will be replaced by David Stanbrook on the 3i Debt Management European Investment Committee, according to a recent Stock Exchange announcement.

During his time at 3i, Reynolds worked closely with two of Spire’s founding partners, Phil Bennett-Britton and Oliver Drummond Smith, when they managed various 3i Debt Management funds. Prior to 3i, Reynolds was managing director and CIO at European CLO fund manager Resource Europe.

Separately, Ian Kavanagh – who worked at 3i Debt Management between February 2011 and February 2014 – also joined Spire Partners earlier in the year.

Established in 2012, Spire Partners is an independent asset management firm focused on European non-investment-grade credit.

Spire currently has a sub-advisory arrangement with the U.K. affiliate of a U.S. multi-strategy institutional investor, and became the investment manager on HarbourVest Senior Loans Europe Limited in May 2014. The company also has a managed account with a family office to invest in performing non-investment-grade credit. – Sarah Husband



Europe: BlueBay Asset Management hires Hugh-Jones to global leveraged finance team

bluebay-logoBlueBay Asset Management has announced the hire of Kerry Hugh-Jones as institutional portfolio manager, working with the global leveraged finance team.

Hugh-Jones has over 14 years of experience in global financial markets, with roles ranging from credit research and portfolio management to strategic development for alternative asset-management businesses.

Hugh-Jones was previously head of business development at Eclectica Asset Management, where she was responsible for strategy. Prior to that she spent four years at Mediobanca, and before that 10 years at J.P. Morgan in various roles within credit and rates, most recently in the EMEA hedge funds coverage team.

Prior to that, she was a senior credit analyst within J.P. Morgan’s global credit portfolio group in both London and New York, having started her career in debt restructuring in the U.S. special loans team. – Staff reports


Europe: Tikehau Group hires Bleunven, Bucelli

logo-TCA-2013-RVBThe Tikehau Group has hired Nathalie Bleunven to develop the firm’s corporate direct-lending activities, while bringing on Luca Bucelli to develop its Italian activities.

Bleunven was managing director in the midcap leveraged finance team at Societe Generale CIB from 2000 to 2013. Since 2013 she had been a managing partner at mezzanine fund Indigo Capital Finance.

Bucelli started his career in 2004 with the corporate finance team at Lehman Brothers in London and Milan. Most recently he was at AlixPartners, where he worked on financial and operational restructurings.

The Tikehau Group, which was founded in 2004, invests and manages long-term capital for institutional and private investors in asset classes such as credit, listed and private equity, and real estate. In 2007 the firm launched Tikehau IM, an investment company specialising in fixed-income products. The Tikehau Group is majority held by its managers, alongside institutional partners such as Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, UniCredit, and Amundi. It manages over €4 billion in investments and has €800 million in shareholders’ equity. – Staff reports