Michael Tierney and Peter Szekely join Tanarra Capital: Reuters

Australia’s Tanarra Capital has hired credit market veterans Michael Tierney and Peter Szekely to set up a fund focussed on Asian loans.

Tierney, head of leveraged finance for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, left the bank on Wednesday after more than 20 years and will not be replaced, sources said. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Szekely, a former leveraged finance and high-yield banker, resigned from ANZ as head of specialty funds for Asia in mid-September. His departure was confirmed by ANZ.

The two are expected to start at Tanarra in December. Tierney will be based in Melbourne and Szekely in Hong Kong.

Melbourne-headquartered Tanarra, which describes itself as a family office investment and advisory firm, is looking to raise up to A$250m (US$192m) for the credit fund from institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. It plans to invest in senior secured loans with Triple B and Double B ratings.

“The fund aims to fill the gap created by the pressure on banks in Asia and Australia to reduce assets on their balance sheets as a result of increased bank capital requirements,” said John Wylie, founder of Tanarra Capital. “We believe it presents the most compelling opportunity in the region’s financial markets that will allow investors to make risk-adjusted returns with diversification.”

The fund is open to investing in all industries and will source its investments from the primary and secondary loan markets in Asia.

The move will be Wylie’s first foray into Asian credit after a long career in M&A advisory and private equity.
A star investment banker at Credit Suisse in Australia in the 1990s, Wylie co-founded boutique advisory firm Carnegie Wylie at the turn of this century and sold it to Lazard in 2007.

Wylie set up Tanarra Capital in 2015 after stepping down from Lazard.

“Michael and Peter are among the most experienced and respected professionals in this market in the Asia Pacific region,” said Wylie, who is also chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and a passionate cricket fan.

At Credit Suisse, Peter Colwell will remains head of leveraged finance, Australia. Based in Sydney, he is responsible for covering leveraged and acquisition finance, loan syndication, and debt advisory.

Szekely resigned from ANZ less than a year after joining last November. He earlier spent four years as head of high-yield product group at Standard Chartered, and previously worked at StormHarbour Securities, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase.