Join the European Direct Lending event of the year
Direct lenders emerged from 2020 fairly unscathed, with many having experienced their busiest few months yet. A growing number of managers are targeting the large-cap space with ever larger funds. Differentiation remains a hot topic, especially as lenders focus their efforts on safer assets more resilient to the COVID downturn.
13:00Chair's opening remarksMariana Valle
Co-Deputy Editor, Debtwire
13:10Panel: Market outlook
The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic provided the first big test for direct lending’s health as economies locked down to prevent the spread of the virus and deal flow dried up. However, following the initial challenges, most direct lenders seemed to have not only escaped relatively unscathed but are investing at a rapid pace as they rush to deploy as further waves of restrictions come into force. We will explore how direct lenders can capitalize on opportunities between periods of instability as well as how fundraising is being impacted.KHKaris Hustad
13:50Panel: Adding leverage
Leverage became a necessary tool for European direct lending funds as spreads tightened, but leverage facilities came one with stringent investment and diversity criteria. As distress in the market grows how are banks managing their risks? Do existing facilities give managers enough flexibility to manage their portfolios in stressed situations? And what are the current terms in the market for a fund looking to add leverage for the first time.
14:45Panel: Practical views on portfolio management
Until 2020 much of the European direct lending market had yet to face a downturn given the asset class’s relative immaturity but the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an economic test for many. This panel will consider the experiences of funds dealing with harder hit sectors within their existing portfolios including leisure and retail and practical solutions utilized in their response.
15:20Panel: Views from the US
The US private debt markets have a decade-long head start on their European counterparts, so it’s only natural that market participants in Europe look west for clues to their own future developments. Our panel of US middle market specialists will explore some of the recent trends they’ve been seeing that they think might cross over to Europe, as well as casting an outsiders gaze over the current state of the European direct lending space.
15:55Panel: ESMA Reporting for Leveraged Direct Lending Funds
The onerous reporting requirements for European ABS under ESMA are well known, but many direct lending funds can also fall foul of the new rules once they add leverage to their fund structure. In this masterclass our experts will describe when a private debt fund count as a securitization, and what steps a manager needs to take to be in compliance with the ESMA rules when that happens. They will also explain what this means for investors looking at US private debt funds.
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irsten is Co-Head of Pan European Private Debt at Muzinich & Co. Before joining Muzinich, Kirsten worked as a Managing Director in the principal debt investing team at Macquarie, responsible for sourcing and executing transactions ranging from leveraged senior, unitranche and mezzanine debt to equity in the UK, Germany and Benelux. Previously, she worked for Silver Point Capital, a US based credit/distressed fund, in the private debt team in Europe. Kirsten started her career at Morgan Stanley in 1999, working in the generalist M&A and Leveraged Finance teams in Germany and London. Kirsten graduated from ESB Reutlingen and Middlesex University London with a B.A. Honors in European Business Administration.
Natalia is Head of European Private Credit at Apollo and is responsible for originating, structuring and underwriting transactions. Natalia has over 14 years of investing experience and extensive knowledge in direct lending dealflow, having worked closely with private equity houses and corporates over the years. Prior to joining Apollo, Natalia was a Managing Director at Alcentra where she was one of the founding members of its European direct lending platform.
Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, "Apollo") is one of the world's leading alternative investment managers. Apollo's rigorous, contrarian approach aims to create uncommon opportunities for investors to achieve attractive risk-adjusted results through market cycles. With more than $330 billion of assets under management in credit, private equity, and real assets (December 31, 2019), Apollo takes many paths to value. We seek to have a positive impact on the communities where we live and work, and promote sound environmental, social and governance practices.
Mr. Bohill is a member of the private debt team. He is also involved in the Firm’s responsible investing initiative.
Since Mr. Bohill joined StepStone in 2013, he has also been a director at Kish Capital, a distressed debt, real estate opportunities, and non-performing loan investor based in Dublin and Lisbon. Before joining Kish he acquired and operated several businesses on his own behalf, and was co-head of European technology and communications at BancBoston Capital, a principal private equity investor.
Mr. Bohill graduated with first-class honors with a BBs in finance from Trinity College, Dublin.
Arun Cronin is a Managing Director, and Head of Global Corporate Asset Finance and EMEA CLO at Credit Suisse. He is based in London, where he specialises in credit financing solutions, CLOs, credit structuring and RWA relief transactions. Before joining Credit Suisse in 2009 he worked at Merrill Lynch and Simmons & Simmons.
Arun was educated at the University of Birmingham and at BPP Law School.
Michelle D'Souza is a reporter at Creditflux, where she covers private credit, with a focus on direct lending and credit funds.
Pascal, based in London, is a Managing Director and Head of H.I.G.’s European direct lending team.
Pascal has 24 years of experience including 16 years in the European direct lending market. Prior to joining H.I.G., he was a Managing Director at Alcentra, where he was a founding member of the European direct lending platform. Before Alcentra, he was with Deutsche Bank and Charterhouse in London.
Pascal earned an MSc in Management from ESSEC Business School.
James Burns is a Managing Director of Crescent Credit Europe LLP focusing on European credit. From 2007 to 2013, he was a Senior Director in the Acquisition Finance team at Lloyds Banking Group where he was responsible for managing relationships with private equity sponsors. He previously worked in the Leveraged Finance Groups at ABN AMRO as a Director, WestLB as an Assistant Director and CIBC as an Associate. He has an MA in History from Cambridge University.
Crescent is an alternative asset manager with over $24 billion of assets under management and over 165 employees as of September 30, 2018. Crescent is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Boston, and London.
Diala Minott is a Corporate partner in the London office of Paul Hastings. Mrs. Minott specializes in structured finance transactions, including acting on numerous CLOs and CDOs—both pre- and post-crisis, as well as acting on bespoke hybrid mid-market CLO type funds. Her practice also encompasses debt and credit funds with a particular focus on direct lending, CLO equity and risk retention funds. She covers regulated and unregulated funds, both onshore and offshore, with a particular expertise in Luxembourg funds.
Fabian Chrobog is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of North Wall Capital, a provider of private capital to non-standard European situations. Founded in 2017, North Wall Capital manages approximately €600m of capital on behalf of institutional investors. North Wall focuses on private credit opportunities with a strong element of downside protection. Select strategies include opportunistic private credit, distressed debt and asset purchases, as well as litigation funding.
Prior to North Wall, Fabian was a Partner, Portfolio Manager and member of the Investment Committee at Warwick Capital Partners. At Warwick, Fabian managed credit, special situations, private equity, liquidations, and hard asset investments across a broad range of sectors. Previously, Fabian worked as a Portfolio Manager at Polygon Investment Partners, focusing on distressed investing and was part of the team that left Polygon to launch Warwick in 2009. Prior to Polygon, Fabian worked at DB Zwirn in London and Frankfurt. Fabian started his career in the investment banking divisions of Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs. Fabian holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Joe joined Alter Domus in January 2021. Based in London, he is a Director, member of the European Debt Capital Markets Sales team, where he predominantly works with direct lender and private equity clients providing administrative solutions to their investments – namely facility agent and trustee services
Joe has 25 years of experience in the syndicated loan market. Earlier in his career, Joe held various loan agency roles at GLAS, Sanne, Lloyds Bank, ING, Mizuho, and Barclays Capital.
Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Bath Spa University in Bath, England.
Brad Marshall is Co-head of Performing Creditand a Senior Managing Director with Blackstone Credit where he focuses on thegroup’s Direct Lending efforts. Mr. Marshall is also the CEO of the BlackstonePrivate Credit Fund (BCRED), the CEO of the Blackstone Secured Lending Fund(BXSL) and a member of Blackstone Credit’s Investment Committee.
Before joining Blackstone Credit, then known asGSO Capital Partners, in 2005 Mr. Marshall worked in various roles at RBC,including fixed income research and business development within RBC's privateequity funds effort. Prior to RBC, Mr. Marshall helped develop a private equityfunds business for TAL Global, a Canadian asset management division of CIBC,and prior to that, he co-founded a microchip verification software companywhere he served as chief financial officer.
Mr. Marshall received an MBA from McGillUniversity in Montreal and a BA (Honors) in Economics from Queen's Universityin Kingston, Canada.
Mr. Affolter is a Partner and Portfolio Manager in the Ares Credit Group, Co-Head of U.S. direct lending. Additionally, Mr. Affolter serves as a member of the Ares Credit Group's U.S. Direct Lending Investment Committee. Prior to joining Ares in 2008, Mr. Affolter was a Managing Director at CIT, where he focused on building its sponsor finance business. Previously, Mr. Affolter was a Senior Managing Director at GE Capital in its sponsor finance business and a Senior Vice President at Heller Financial, leading its mezzanine finance business in corporate finance. He currently serves on the Regional Committee of Washington University and holds an A.B. from Washington University in Economics.
L.Max McEwen is a senior member of Barings’ Global Private Finance Group. He is responsible for originating, analyzing, structuring and monitoring North American and European private finance investments. Max has worked in the industry since 2004. Prior to joining the firm in 2015, he worked for Bunker Hill Capital, a lower middle market private equity fund, as a principal investor. Before joining Bunker Hill Capital, he was an Associate in Banc of America Securities Business and Technology Services team focusing on M&A. Max has a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Finance from North Carolina State University.
Ken serves as president and CEO of Churchill Asset Management, an affiliate of Nuveen. Throughout his career in the investment industry he has accrued a broad range of experience in leading middle market businesses.
Previously, Ken served as president and a director of Carlyle GMS Finance (Carlyle’s publicly traded business development company). Prior to that he founded and was president and CEO of Churchill Financial, served as head of leveraged finance for Royal Bank of Canada and was head of Indosuez Capital, a leading middle market merchant banking and asset management business. Ken also helped to found the high yield finance business at both Chase Securities (now JP Morgan) and SBC Warburg (now UBS).
Ken graduated with a B.S., magna cum laude, in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He serves on the Pension Investment Advisory Committee for the Archdiocese of New York, the Board of Trustees of Canisius High School and the Advisory Board of Teach for America (Connecticut). Ken is a guest lecturer at Boston University Questrom School of Business and a former member of the Board of Advisors and Adjunct Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Alex Griffith is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of The Private Credit and Finance Groups.
Alex’s practice focuses on leveraged finance and general debt finance work, advising senior, mezzanine, second lien, unitranche and other private capital providers.
His extensive experience covers a wide range of transactions, including corporate refinancings, management buyouts and buy-ins, recapitalizations, institutional acquisitions, restructurings, public-to-private takeovers (both domestic and international), and other innovative, first-in-kind transactions involving private sources of capital.
In addition, Alex advises financial sponsors, corporates and management teams on the raising of debt finance in the European Markets.
Recognized by Chambers UK, one client comments, “Alex is an excellent lawyer – I very much trust him and can talk through what I’m trying to achieve and he’ll make it work.” He has also been recognized as a notable banking lawyer by IFLR 1000.
Sam is responsible for the execution of FinDox’s products and services in Europe and leads a team of 11 in the London office. Priorto FinDox, Sam spent a decade within the leveraged finance industry in London, working across the three horizontals of deal origination, capital markets and sales & trading. During this time, Sam developed deep relationships with leveraged finance institutional investors both in London and New York. His last position was as Executive Director in Capital Markets at UBS.
Tom Davidson is assistant editor for Creditflux, the leading global leading information source for credit funds and CLOs. He focuses on event content and special features. After joining Creditflux in 2005 he moved to New York in 2012 to setup the Creditflux US office. He graduated from Cambridge University with an MSci in Natural Sciences.