SunTrust Robinson Humphrey hires four in leveraged finance group: Caldwell, Psarris, Simon, Holbrook

suntrust logoSunTrust Robinson Humphrey hired four for its syndicated and leveraged finance team, who will be reporting to Chris Wood.

Ron Caldwell will become head of healthcare syndicated and leveraged finance. He joins as a managing director with his most recent 14 years of experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he originated leveraged loan, bridge and high-yield transactions backing corporate and sponsor clients across healthcare.

Akis Psarris also joined as a managing director, and will head liability management. He joins from Lloyds Bank where he was managing director in debt capital markets. He had been managing director at J.P. Morgan for 11 years in its U.S. debt capital markets group.

Two others, Ricardo Simon and Matt Holbrook, join as directors.

Simon will head commercial real estate and REIT syndicated finance in his new role. He had been a director in the real estate syndicated finance group at Wells Fargo, where he worked with clients who required debt financing for recapitalizations, project loans and mergers and acquisitions.

Holbrook joins the group with 10 years of experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Leveraged Finance team in Charlotte, where he was most recently responsible for originating and structuring debt financings for consumer and retail clients. – Abby Latour

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Riverstone Holdings taps Abbate, Brodsky, Flannery for expansion into credit, capital markets

riverstoneRiverstone Holdings, the energy-and-power-focused private equity firm, has hired a seasoned team of energy-focused leveraged finance professionals who will spearhead the firm’s expansion into credit and capital markets activities, sources said. The team is comprised ofChristopher AbbateJamie Brodsky, and Daniel Flannery.

Abbate, who joins Riverstone as a managing director and will lead the new team, has spent his entire 17-year career financing energy companies, mainly in the leveraged capital markets. Prior to joining Riverstone, Abbate was a managing director and head of energy leveraged finance at Citigroup. Brodsky joins Riverstone as a managing director and Flannery joins as a vice president; both had previously worked at Nomura Securities International.

Prior to their respective roles at Citigroup and Nomura, Abbate, Brodsky and Flannery worked together on the energy leveraged finance team at UBS Investment Bank, where Abbate was also head of leveraged finance origination, sources said.

Based in Riverstone’s New York office, the team is exploring opportunities to make credit investments from the Riverstone platform as well as advise Riverstone portfolio companies and select third-party clients on capital structure optimization and access to the capital markets, sources said.

Riverstone is an energy-and-power-focused private investment firm founded in 2000 by David M. Leuschen and Pierre F. Lapeyre, Jr., with approximately $27 billion of equity capital raised. Riverstone conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration & production, midstream, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry. With offices in New York, London, Houston and Mexico City, the firm has committed approximately $26.1 billion to 108 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. – Staff reports


Europe: Chowdhary joins Pramerica’s European leveraged finance team

pramerica-logo-300Arvinder Chowdhary has joined Pramerica as a principal and portfolio manager for its European Leveraged Finance team, according to a company statement.

He will focus on European high-yield portfolios, and reports to Jonathan Butler, managing director and head of European Leveraged Finance.

Chowdhary most recently served as a research analyst/portfolio manager at Western Asset Management in London, working within European high yield. He was involved in managing the European high-yield assets within the global high yield and global multi-strategy portfolios. Before Western Asset Management, Chowdhary was a director and head of European credit research for Citigroup Asset Management, and worked in London and New York. – Sarah Husband


IMG Worldwide loans slip on report CFO stepping down

(yourbrand)+IMGLoans backing IMG Worldwide softened today on a press report that the company’s CFO, Peter Klein, is stepping down after six months to become a senior adviser to the company.

The issuer’s first-lien term loan due 2021 (L+425, 1% LIBOR floor) cooled to a 100/100.75 market, versus levels bracketing 101 yesterday, according to sources. The second-lien tranche due 2022 (L+725, 1% floor) is quoted at 100.5/101.25, versus 101.75/102.25 yesterday.

Citing an internal memo, the New York Post reported that Klein is transitioning from CFO to a senior adviser for personal reasons. However, with attribution to unnamed “insiders,” the report said that Klein’s exit “reflects the difficulty the highly indebted company is having in meeting its cost-cutting targets, particularly within the sports agency business.”

The issuer is rated B/B2. The first-lien loan is rated B/B1, with a 3 recovery rating from S&P; the second-lien is rated B-/Caa1, with a 5 recovery rating.

The covenant-lite term loans – a $1.9 billion first-lien term loan and a $450 million term loan – were syndicated in March via J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, and Deutsche Bank to back SilverLake and William Morris Endeavour Entertainment’s acquisition of the talent management company from Forstmann Little.

J.P. Morgan is administrative agent on the first-lien term loan, while Barclays is administrative agent on the second-lien tranche. – Kerry Kantin


Europe: Ashley joins Highbridge Principal Strategies as portfolio manager

highbridgeJon Ashley has joined Highbridge Principal Strategies in London as a portfolio manager, according to market sources. Ashley was previously a managing director at Fortress Investment Group.

Highbridge has also recently hired John Aylward to its hedge fund business in London, to run a European relative value credit strategy. Aylward was previously at Claren Road. – Sarah Husband


Rabinowitz joins Highbridge as PM for CLOs and BSL funds

Jonathan Rabinowitz has joined Highbridge Principal Strategies as a portfolio manager for the Highbridge broadly syndicated loan and CLO portfolios, according to sources. He started in April, and reports into portfolio manager David Frey.

Prior to joining Highbridge, Rabinowitz was a co-portfolio manager at Invesco Senior Secured Management, and was previously a co-portfolio manager in Morgan Stanley Asset Management’s Senior Loan Group. – Sarah Husband


Middle-market lender Monroe fires partner/managing director for confidentiality breach

MonroeCapitalMiddle-market lender Monroe Capital has terminated a managing director for allegedly stealing proprietary information and siphoning-off trade secrets to a new firm, Breakaway Capital.

Monroe Capital said the firm terminated former partner Warren Woo, effective last week, for violating the company’s policies and use of information systems.

A complaint filed on June 19 by Monroe Capital with the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., alleged that for more than 18 months, Woo forwarded hundreds of emails to another email at Breakaway Capital. He then deleted the forwarded emails from his sent-items folder at Monroe Capital to avoid detection.

Some of the emails instructed recipients to communicate with Woo in the future at Breakaway Capital only.

“Woo and his new company, acting in concert with his new partner and Breakaway Capital co-founder, Michael Connolly, arrogated to themselves critical business opportunities which belonged to Monroe Capital and which Woo had a clear duty to consider the exploit for Monroe Capital and not for his new company and new partners,” the complaint said.

Included in the 308 emails Woo forwarded, as well as 157 attachments, were new-business prospects, individual deal structures and pricing memos, internal underwriting analysis, and third-party analysis that Monroe Capital paid for as part of new-business pitches.

Monroe Capital uncovered the scheme after the firm received an SEC subpoena requesting information about Breakaway Capital. As a result of the subpoena, Monroe looked into Woo’s email.

“The investigation revealed that not only did Woo improperly transfer confidential and proprietary company and customer information and trade secrets, but that he actively intends to use this information to compete with Monroe Capital by taking deal source leads generated by Monroe Capital and made, or attempted to make, them his own for his benefit and that of Breakaway Capital.”

“Monroe Capital has suffered irreparable harm as a result of Woo’s unlawful conduct,” the complaint said.

Neither Warren Woo nor Michael Connolly returned calls or emails seeking comment. Woo and Connolly founded Breakaway Capital as a limited partnership.

Breakaway Capital, based in Los Angeles, is a private investment firm with $50 million of committed capital, seeking debt and structured equity investments in small and middle-market businesses across a variety of industries, the company’s website said. The company was formed in March 2014, the complaint said.

Chicago-based Monroe Capital, established in 2004, provides debt and equity co-investments to middle-market companies in North America, including unitranche financings, acquisition facilities, mezzanine debt and second-lien loans. – Abby Latour

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Europe: Loan Market Association (LMA) announces board members following annual meeting


At the LMA’s annual general meeting, held on June 18, 2014, the following directors were reelected:

  • Charles Bennett (Credit Suisse)
  • Charlotte Conlan (BNP Paribas)
  • Fiona Hagdrup (M&G Investments)
  • Nick Jansa (Deutsche Bank AG)
  • Damien Lamoril (SG CIB)
  • Richard Munn (Oak Hill Advisors (Europe))
  • Keith Taylor (Barclays)

Roland Boehm from Commerzbank was reappointed chairman of the LMA at the board meeting immediately following the general meeting, while the following directors were reappointed to vice chair:

  • Richard Basham (Citi)
  • Nick Jansa (Deutsche Bank AG)
  • Richard Munn (Oak Hill Advisors (Europe))

– Staff reports