Wasserstein & Co. last month launched its first credit-oriented hedge fund as part of its effort to build out a broad asset-management platform, according to sources.
The fund, Wasserstein Debt Opportunities, will invest primarily in leveraged loans and high-yield bonds issued by companies with annual EBITDA of up to $300 million. The fund is seeking to create differentiated high-yield exposure by focusing on non-large-cap credits with less transparency and pricing efficiency, sources added.
In the current environment, the fund is investing in a mix of loans and senior secured bonds. Though both its investment mix and hedging strategy, the fund seeks to position itself to profit from market volatility, according to sources.
Wasserstein Debt Opportunities is led by Rajay Bagaria, who joined Wasserstein in October 2012 to build out the firm’s capital-markets effort. Prior to joining Wasserstein, Bagaria was a partner at Apollo Investment Management, where he focused on investments in high-yield bonds, leveraged loans, mezzanine debt, and equity.
New York-based Wasserstein currently has more than 25 investment professionals across its private-equity and asset-management businesses. – Kerry Kantin
BNP Paribas has appointed Paul Shedel as head of leveraged finance origination for the Benelux, Nordic, and CEE regions. In his new role, Shedel will report to Geert Lippens, global head of BNPP’s leveraged finance business.
Shedel has 20 years’ experience within leveraged finance. He joined BNP Paribas in 2008 after spending the majority of his career at Citigroup in its European leveraged finance group, and a short stint at CIBC. – Staff reports
Stuart Levett and Julia Agafonova have joined CVC Credit Partners, the firm announced today. Levett joins as a managing director focused on the group’s European trading activity, while Agafonova joins as a director of fund administration and will lead the European operations team.
Levett has spent more than 16 years in banking, most recently as a managing director and senior originator and leverage sales at UBS, and Cantor Fitzgerald responsible, inter alia, for sourcing impaired and distressed single line assets and portfolios, trading through capital structures and asset classes. Prior to that he spent eight years with Credit Suisse and its predecessor Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Agafonova has more than 15 years’ experience across financial, operations and administration, and joins from Chalkhill Partners, where she headed operations and business administration. Prior to this, she was the head of middle office and operations at Aladdin Capital Management and at Fusion Asset Management, and spent seven years at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in operations roles ranging across emerging markets, credit markets, credit derivatives, and structured finance products. – Sarah Husband
Jefferies has hired Nicholas Rodolakis as managing director and European co-head of leverage finance origination, based in London. In his new role, Rodolakis will partner with fellow co-head Chris Auld and lead Jefferies’ European leveraged finance and investment banking business.
Rodolakis joins from Morgan Stanley, where he worked for three years as a managing director in leveraged finance. Prior to that he spent eight years at Credit Suisse, where he was a director in leveraged finance. – Staff reports
Stuart Smartt has joined NXT Capital in Chicago to head the healthcare group, the Chicago-based finance company announced this morning. Smartt will oversee origination and senior-secured lending to private equity sponsors targeting middle-market companies in the healthcare industry.
Smartt will report to John Finnerty, head of corporate finance. Smartt joins NXT Capital from CIT, where he was a director in CIT’s healthcare unit.
NXT’s healthcare group provides a full range of financing products, including senior, stretch-senior, unitranche and second-lien term loans to back leveraged buyouts, refinancings, recapitalizations and add-on acquisitions. The group targets middle-market companies that generate $5 million to $75 million of EBITDA. – Kelly Thompson
Neuberger Berman has raised roughly £363 million for its NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund through a placing of C Shares. Oriel Securities and Dexion Capital are joint financial advisers and joint bookunners. Oriel is sole sponsor.
The placing significantly exceeds the company’s initial target of raising in excess of £100 million. The closed-end investment company was launched in April 2011, raising $507 million and an additional $187 million through a C share placement that converted into ordinary shares in September 2011. The new shares are expected to start trading on the London market on March 26.
The fund invests mainly in floating-rate senior secured dollar, sterling, and euro loans from North American- and EU-based borrowers. – Staff reports
Cutwater Asset Management announced this week that Alex Jackson has joined the firm as a managing director and head of the bank loan group.
Prior to joining Cutwater, Jackson worked for CIFC, where he was deputy chief investment officer and a CLO portfolio manager.
Armonk, N.Y.-based Cutwater is looking to build out a bank loan group amid a recent surge in investor interest in floating-rate debt. In the near term, the firm plans to build out a CLO management business and make some allocations to the leveraged loan asset class within its existing funds and subsequently build out a related suite of products in the bank loan asset class, such as managed accounts, according to Jackson and Jason Cameron, the head of Cutwater’s existing CLO investment business.
Cutwater has about $30 billion of fixed-income assets under management, including structured products. The firm is an active investor in CLOs and manages 12 CDOs with combined assets under management of about $2.5 billion. – Kerry Kantin
David Miller, head of global credit products capital markets at Credit Suisse, is being elevated to co-head of global credit products.
Phil DeSantis, who was co-head of global credit products, is exiting the firm. Miller will now be co-head of the unit with Eraj Shirvani.
Miller last year took on responsibility for high-grade capital markets when he was appointed head of global credit products capital markets, responsible for all underwriting activities globally for GCP, including investment-grade and leveraged finance (high-yield and syndicated loans). Miller took over as the global head of leveraged finance capital markets in 2011. – Staff reports
Credit Suisse has hired Benji Cheung as a senior salesperson on its loan sales desk, according to sources.
Cheung will join Credit Suisse from Morgan Stanley, where he was an executive director working in loan sales. A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley declined to comment. – Kerry Kantin
Alcentra has named Jack Yang as managing director and head of Americas business development, responsible for leading Alcentra’s marketing and business development efforts in the U.S., Canada, and South America.
Yang previously held roles as head of business development at Onex Credit Partners and Highland Capital. Prior to that, he was global head of leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch. In this newly created position, Yang reports to Paul Hatfield, president and head of Alcentra U.S.
As previously reported, Alcentra also has named Michael Johnson as managing director and head of UK direct lending. As the leader of the UK direct lending business, Johnson also serves as portfolio manager for strategies related to the HM Treasury’s Business Finance Partnership.
Johnson was previously head of European leveraged capital markets at Cantor Fitzgerald, and has almost 30 years of experience in the leveraged finance markets. In this newly created position, he reports to Graeme Delaney-Smith, head of European direct lending and mezzanine investments.
Alcentra, BNY Mellon’s sub-investment-grade credit asset manager, focuses on the European and U.S. markets. The group has an investment track record that dates back to 1998 and spans across 50 separate investment funds totaling approximately $23 billion. – Staff reports