Angelo Gordon boosts distressed-debt team after chief leaves

  • Distressed-securities chief Tom Fuller leaves firm
  • Succeeded by Gavin Baiera
  • Firm expands distressed-investing team

Tom Fuller, former senior managing director and chief of Angelo, Gordon & Co’s distressed-securities business, left the firm at year-end, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The reason Fuller left and his next step are as yet unclear.

Gavin Baiera, managing director and global head of corporate credit, took over as head of the distressed-securities business at Angelo Gordon, the spokeswoman said.

Form D filings for Angelo Gordon’s most recent distressed-investment funds, AG Capital Recovery Partners VIII and AG Capital Recovery Partners Europe VIII, were amended to remove Fuller’s name.

The amended filings also removed the name of John Angelo, co-founder of the firm, who died in January after a long battle with cancer.

It’s not clear how much either fund is targeting or whether they are still fundraising. AG Capital Recovery Partners VIII hit the market in 2013.

A person with knowledge of the firm said Fuller’s departure led to a key-man event in the funds. The spokeswoman declined to comment on potential key-man events.

Interestingly, the fundraising total listed in regulatory documents for AG Capital Recovery Partners Fund VIII decreased from 2014 to 2015. A filing from December 2014 showed the fund raised about $253.4 million, while an amended filing from December 2015, which excludes Fuller’s name, shows a fundraising total of about $110.9 million.

It’s not clear whether that decrease was related to Fuller’s departure. When key executives leave a fund, limited partners generally get the option to end the investment period. In most cases, LPs choose to keep the fund alive, but will take the opportunity to negotiate terms.

As of March 2015, Fund VIII generated a 0.99x total value multiple, according to performance information from the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association. Prior funds performed as follows:

  • Fund VII produced a 6.7 percent internal rate of return and a 1.28x multiple.
  • Fund VI generated a 1.43x multiple and a 7.9 percent IRR.
  • Fund V produced a 1.14x multiple and a 3.3 percent IRR.

Fuller joined Angelo Gordon in 2000. It’s not clear when he took over the distressed-securities business. The former distressed-securities chief, Jeffrey Aronson, left the firm in 2005 and started credit-focused shop Centerbridge Partners.

Angelo Gordon, which manages $25 billion, recently made two significant hires for the distressed group: John O’Meara, managing director and head of distressed-debt analytics at Morgan Stanley; and Bryce Fraser, managing director at Watershed Asset Management. Both are joining as managing directors, the spokeswoman confirmed. It’s not clear whether they have started or, if not, when they will start.

Angelo Gordon was formed in 1988 by John Angelo and Michael Gordon. It focuses on credit, real estate, private equity and multi-strategy, according to the investment report from the Contra Costa County employees’ pension.

Action Item: Check out the pension investment report on Angelo Gordon here:

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