Herr exits NewStar Financial for Solar Capital

  • Herr was a NewStar managing director from June 2013 to April 2019: LinkedIn
  • First Eagle acquired NewStar in December 2017
  • Blackstone, Corsair bought First Eagle in 2015

Eric Herr has left NewStar Financial, the middle-market lender that was sold to First Eagle in 2017, after nearly six years.

Herr is now a partner at Solar Capital, which he joined in April, his LinkedIn profile said. He started at NewStar in June 2013 and was a managing director. Herr previously worked for Carlyle Group’s senior debt origination team and is a former managing director of Churchill Financial. He also spent several years at GE Antares as a managing director, his LinkedIn said.

Solar Capital is the New York BDC managed by Solar Capital Partners LLC. In October, Solar Capital Partners said its private credit funds raised $750 million. Solar Capital Partners invests in leveraged U.S. middle-market companies in the form of cash flow and asset-based senior secured investments including first-lien, stretch first-lien and second-lien debt instruments. Solar Capital also manages a second BDC, Solar Senior Capital Ltd.

“I’m very excited about being able to commit to a significant dollar amount due to Solar’s successful fund raising efforts over the last year,” Herr said in an emailed response to questions.

Herr’s exit comes more than a year since First Eagle Investment Management closed its buy of NewStar, a middle-market lender, in December 2017. NewStar now operates as the private credit team of First Eagle. It adopted the name of its parent and is known as First Eagle Investment Management.

Blackstone and Corsair Capital acquired a majority of First Eagle, which manages $101 billion in assets for institutional and individuals, in December 2015.

Solar Capital, for its part, has deep Wall Street ties. CEO Michael Gross and COO Bruce Spohler founded Solar Capital Partners in 2006. They are both former Drexel Burnham Lambert M&A executives.

Gross is a founder and former senior partner of Apollo Management LP, his bio said. He was also chairman, president and CEO  of Apollo Investment Corp, the publicly traded BDC he founded, from 2004 to 2006.

Spohler, meanwhile, was managing director and co-head of U.S. leverage finance at CIBC World Markets.

Solar Capital confirmed Herr’s hiring. First Eagle Investment Management could not be reached for comment.

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