Capital One Bank hires Gates to head leveraged loan syndications

Capital One Bank appointed William Gates as head of loan syndications.

Gates will report to Steven Tulip, head of capital markets at the McLean, Virginia-based bank. Gates and Tulip are based in New York.

Gates had been a managing director at RBS, where he was responsible for the underwriting and distribution of all loan transactions in the Americas.

Gates was also a managing director in leverage capital markets with UBS. He also worked at Merrill Lynch in Leverage Loan Capital Markets, and was a founding member of Lehman’s loan syndicate group. – Abby Latour

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Monroe Capital settles with ex-employee Woo, dismisses lawsuit

monroe-capital-corp-logoMiddle-market lender Monroe Capital has dismissed a lawsuit against a former employee, Warren Woo, saying the two sides have reached a “mutually satisfactory settlement arrangement.”

In June, Monroe terminated Woo, a managing director, for allegedly stealing proprietary information and siphoning-off trade secrets to a new firm, Breakaway Capital.

“Upon further investigation, it is clear that Warren’s actions were not improper,” Monroe Capital CEO Ted Koenig said in a statement issued by Breakaway Capital today.

Woo will remain a limited partner of Monroe Capital. As a result, “I look forward to remaining economically aligned with Monroe going forward,” Woo said in a statement.

Contacted by LCD, Koenig gave no further explanation, and said he could not comment on a former employee. Woo did not respond to an email seeking comment.

In the statement, Breakaway Capital said it was focused on companies generating up to $5 million in annual EBITDA. The firm said it provides senior debt, subordinated and mezzanine debt, unitranche structures, and equity to companies for buyouts, acquisitions, recapitalizations, restructurings and growth capital, for sponsored and non-sponsored transactions.

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 account 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.

Woo and Michael 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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AXA Investment Managers reorganizes fixed income/structured finance units

urlAXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has reorganised its Fixed Income and Structured Finance teams, to create a new Fixed Income and Structured Finance department.

The reorg is intended to provide clients with a simpler structure, as well as facilitate the integration of structured finance assets into traditional fixed income so AXA IM can offer solutions which address changing client needs across the credit spectrum. The entire department reports in to John Porter, global head of fixed income & structured finance.

The Fixed Income & Structured Finance division is now organised into five broad investment streams:

  • Active Fixed Income – encompassing all actively managed strategies, including traditional benchmarked, total return, and strategic.
  • Buy and Maintain Fixed Income – encompassing all long-term, low-turnover solutions for third-party pension scheme and insurance clients – including SmartBeta Credit and accounting constrained.
  • Solutions – a new team under the leadership of Jean-Louis Laforge, which brings portfolio engineering and credit research together with a solutions strategy team responsible for designing solutions across the credit spectrum.
  • AXA Group – a dedicated team led by Gilles Dauphine, focused on work with AXA Group.
  • Structured Finance – organised around two platforms: Loans & Private Debt, and Securitised & Structured Assets, and led by Deborah Shire.

Chris Iggo, CIO and head of fixed income Europe & Asia, leads the European, Asian, and Global teams within Buy and Maintain Fixed Income and Active Fixed Income, with the U.S. teams reporting into Carl Whitbeck, head of fixed income U.S.

Digging down further into the Structured Finance unit, this will be organised around two platforms: Securitised & Structured Assets and Loans & Private Debt, with each split between ‘traded assets’ and ‘illiquid assets’.

Securitised & Structured Assets:

  • Alexandre Martin Min will co-head Securitised & Structured Assets, with responsibility for traded assets. He will also lead a strategy dedicated to integrating structured finance assets into fixed income blended products across the credit spectrum. Within Alexandre’s team, Gaelle Philippe will be responsible for ABS Europe and existing ABS products.
  • Christophe Fritsch will co-head Securitised & Structured Assets, responsible for illiquid assets and the business development of this platform. He will continue to lead the ILS team that he started in 2007, but Francois Divet will take on the direct responsibility for the ILS team.

Loans & Private Debt:

  • Jean Philippe Levilain will co-head the Loans & Private Debt platform for traded assets, and be responsible for delivering AXA’s leveraged loan expertise in funds, mandates, and CLOs, with a team split between Europe and the U.S. He launched AXA’s first CLO post-crisis in the U.S., in 2014.
  • Renaud Tourmente will co-head the Loans & Private Debt platform, with a direct responsibility for illiquid assets, including the mid-cap platform he launched more than two years ago.
  • Laurent Cezard will head the business development team for the Loans and Private Debt Platform. – Staff reports



Credit Value Partners launches new middle market loan fund, hires Keller

Greenwich, Conn.-based Credit Value Partners (CVP) has raised about $200 million of initial capital for a new fund focused on middle-market lending and has hired Michael Keller as partner and portfolio manager to help lead the effort, according to the firm.

CVP defines “middle market” roughly as companies that generate $5-25 million of EBITDA, and says it will extend loans of $5-50 million to any one borrower. The fund will mostly be focused on asset-based loans and restructuring-related credits, but it also will include cash-flow loans, according to Don Pollard, managing partner at CVP.

The new middle-market fund already has closed two transactions: a healthcare deal and $30 million in financing to support SouthComm’s purchase of assets from Cygnus Business Media, a trade publisher based near Madison, Wis. SouthComm, owner of the Nashville Post, announced the closing on Nov. 3.

Two more transactions are expected to close by year-end, Pollard says.

Prior to joining CVP, Keller was president of Shannon Capital Management and held senior positions at CapitalSource and Finova Group.

CVP was formed within Credit Suisse’s asset-management group in 2008 and went independent in 2010 after raising $100 million in seed money.

With the new middle-market platform, CVP now has three business lines, all focused on high-yielding and opportunistic corporate debt: (1) private-equity-style funds with $800 million in assets under management; (2) CLOs, led by Joe Matteo and Brian Conroy; and (3) the new middle-market fund.

CVP launched the CLO platform last year with the hiring of Matteo and since has printed two CLOs totaling $940 million. In October, CVP struck a deal to create a series of CLOs with Macquarie Group, which will provide equity capital, warehouse financing, and structured credit expertise. – Kelly Thompson

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SunTrust Robinson Humphrey adds middle-market offering with 9 hires

suntrust logoSunTrust Robinson Humphrey announced nine hires around the U.S. to expand its offerings to middle-market clients. They report to Brian Peters, the bank’s head of national corporate banking.

John McCrackenSugeet MadanAaron Eichler and Kevin Lowe joined the western corporate banking team, based in San Francisco.

McCracken joins as a managing director from U.S. Bancorp, where he led the bank’s western region banking division for five years. Madan, who also joins as managing director, previously worked at Bank of America/Nations Bank in various marketing and credit assignments.

Eichler was a client manager and senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Lowe joins as director. Previously, Lowe was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global industrials investment banking group.

Erik Velastegui and Deborah Ironson Katz have also joined the western corporate banking team, based in Los Angeles.

Velastegui joins as managing director. Previously, he worked at BBVA Compass as a client manager. Ironson Katz has worked in roles focused on middle-market companies.

Mike Chryssikos, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch veteran, joins as managing director in the southwest region, with a focus in Houston.

Will Rowe joins as a managing director in the Boston-based northeast region. Rowe worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBS Citizens.

David Nackley joins as a managing director in the New York-based northeast region. Prior to this, Nackley was managing director at RBS Citizens working with capital markets. – Abby Latour

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Highland Capital hires Smith to business development team with CLO focus

Highland_Capital_Management_597435_i0Highland Capital Management has hired Felicia Smith as managing director to its business development team. She will be responsible for identifying and developing new relationships with institutional clients, with a particular focus on raising assets for Highland’s CLO and credit platforms.

Based in Dallas, TX., Smith will report to Josh Terry, head of structured products and trading for Highland Capital Management.

Smith joins Highland from Santander Consumer USA (SCUSA), where she served as vice president of capital markets, and prior to SCUSA Smith worked in sales and trading at J.P. Morgan Chase, and as an analyst at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Highland Capital Management is an SEC-registered investment adviser which, together with its affiliates, has roughly $19 billion of assets under management. – Staff reports



Fifth Third hires Uchiyama as loan syndication expansion continues

fifth-third-bancorpFifth Third Bank has hired Ken Uchiyama to lead the bank’s Loan Sales and Trading business as the bank continues to build out its loan syndications operations.

The business complements Fifth Third’s origination, leveraged finance and syndicate functions.

Uchiyama will report to Matt Cannan, head of loan capital markets at Fifth Third. He started at the bank’s Chicago office this week. He joins as managing director.

Uchiyama joins from Huntington Bank, where he ran loan syndications. Prior to that, he worked at National City Bank, SunTrust Bank, and Bank of America, focusing on leveraged credits, and both bank and institutional investors.

In June, Fifth Third announced it hired Derek Brust for debt origination, both loans and bonds, for middle-market and larger deals. Brust also joined from Huntington Bank. He also reports to Cannan.

Last month, a team of four from Fifth Third’s mezzanine lending operations left the bank and joined Tokarz Group Advisers, the external manager of MVC Capital. They included David J. Williams, who co-founded Fifth Third’s Mezzanine Finance Group in 1999, as well as Harrison S. Mullin, David R. Gardner, and Scott D. Foote. – Abby Latour

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MVC Capital hires mezzanine lending team from Fifth Third

MVC Capital hired a team of four from Fifth Third to expand mezzanine lending, reflecting the bank’s move away from that business.

The hires include David J. Williams, who co-founded Fifth Third’s Mezzanine Finance Group in 1999. He joins the company as managing director.

Harrison S. Mullin also joins as a managing director. David R. Gardner and Scott D. Foote are also part of the new team.

The team will join Tokarz Group Advisers, the external manager of MVC, and will be based in Cincinnati.

MVC Capital, a BDC that trades on NYSE as MVC, targets small and middle-market companies for growth investments, acquisitions and recapitalizations. The fund typically invests $3-25 million for control and non-control stakes in Midwestern U.S. companies generating annual revenue of $10-200 million and EBITDA of $3-25 million. – Abby Latour


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Medley Capital hires Lehman veteran Howard Liao

medley-capital-squarelogo-1383072407374Howard Liao has joined Medley Capital as a managing director.

Liao spent 14 years at Lehman Brothers, where his career spanned mezzanine financing, leveraged finance, and global M&A.

Medley Capital Corporation, an externally managed BDC that trades on the NYSE as MCC, lends to privately held small- and middle market companies, mainly in North America. The portfolio largely comprises first-lien and second-lien loans, but also warrants and equity. It is managed by MCC Advisors, a subsidiary of Medley Management, which trades on NYSE as MDLY. –Abby Latour


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Balance Point Capital adds hire, Nathan Elliott, for middle-market deal execution

balanceBalance Point Capital Partners hired Nathan Elliott for underwriting and execution of debt financing to middle-market companies.

He joins the Westport, Conn.-based company as a vice president. He will report to managing partner Seth Alvord and partner Justin Kaplan.

Previously, he was a vice president at Jefferies Finance, where he was responsible for due diligence and underwriting of loans and bridge financings for sponsor-led buyouts. Prior to that, he worked at GE Capital.

Balance Point Capital Partners invests mezzanine and equity capital into U.S. lower-middle-market companies generating revenue of $10-150 million, and EBITDA of at least $2 million.

Among the firm’s investments are game and toymaker Patch Products; New Jersey-based regional dental-management company Brighter Dental Care; Sacramento, Calif.-based security-alarm-monitoring company GHS Interactive Security; and radio broadcasters Digity Media and Connoisseur Media. – Abby Latour

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