AllianceBernstein has set up a new private credit investing platform. The new platform – AllianceBernstein Private Credit Investors – will focus on direct lending to middle market companies.
AllianceBernstein L.P. (AllianceBernstein) announced today that the firm has established a new private credit investing platform that will focus on direct lending to middle market companies. The new platform – AllianceBernstein Private Credit Investors – will be led by the former senior leadership group of Barclays Private Credit Partners LLC, which was previously the registered investment advisor for Barclays Private Credit Partners Fund L.P.
This platform, established as part of AllianceBernstein’s broader efforts to build out a diversified offering of alternative investment products, specifically responds to increasing demand from clients seeking exposure to direct lending strategies. AllianceBernstein will leverage the past success and longstanding investment strategy of its new investment team by targeting primary-issue middle market credit opportunities that are directly sourced and privately negotiated. The team will emphasize secured lending by focusing on first lien, unitranche and second lien loans, while selectively considering mezzanine, structured preferred stock and non-control equity co-investment opportunities. This flexible mandate will enable AllianceBernstein to optimize the relative risk adjusted return profile for its clients while also offering creative and highly customized solutions for borrowers. AllianceBernstein’s initial focus will be on direct lending in the US marketplace, with a longer term objective of becoming a leading global provider of private corporate credit solutions.
Brent Humphries, previously President of Barclays Private Credit Partners LLC, will lead the new group at AllianceBernstein along with four former Barclays colleagues, Jay Ramakrishnan, Patrick Fear, Shishir Agrawal and Wesley Raper. At Barclays Private Credit Partners LLC, Mr. Humphries and his colleagues were responsible for building a leading private credit business that oversaw approximately $1.5 billion of commitments across 48 discrete transactions. Barclays Private Credit Partners Fund L.P. was sold in December 2013.
“By offering direct lending capabilities, we will be better able to meet our clients’ needs for strong sources of income that also dampen volatility,” said Matthew Bass, COO of Alternatives. “Brent and his team collectively have deep investment expertise and an established presence in the market that will help us take advantage of the strong long-term return potential.”
Brent Humphries added: “Direct lending to middle market companies is an attractive space due to its enduring fundamentals and strong secular growth trends. By joining AllianceBernstein and tapping into its leading fixed income franchise and strong distribution capabilities, my colleagues and I can continue to execute our disciplined investment philosophy and partnership approach to lending.”
AllianceBernstein Continues to Build Out Alternatives Platform with New Team
In the past few years, AllianceBernstein has significantly expanded its alternatives platform and currently manages $16 billion spanning a variety of asset classes and liquidity profiles. The firm’s alternative offerings include multi-manager strategies, proprietary hedge funds, real-estate, direct lending and a suite of liquid alternative funds. The firm has also previously acquired proven outside managers to develop alternatives offerings such as a Select US Long/Short strategy managed by Kurt Feuerman and Hedge Fund of Funds managed by Marc Gamsin.
“We are committed to continuing to grow our alternatives platform and direct lending is a natural extension of our existing liquid credit and private placement capabilities,” said Bass. “Being on the cusp of rising rates and regulatory changes makes private credit strategies particularly attractive. We think the favorable supply and demand dynamics driven by bank disintermediation, the attractive relative value compared to large cap liquid credit, and the better risk controls available through direct origination, makes this a very appealing asset class.”
AllianceBernstein is a leading global investment management firm that offers high-quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors, individuals and private clients in major world markets.
At March 31, 2014, AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. owned approximately 35.8% of the issued and outstanding AllianceBernstein Units and AXA, one of the largest global financial services organizations, owned an approximate 63.6% economic interest in AllianceBernstein.