Adams Street adds Ares vet to private credit team

The Chicago-based asset manager is seeking $750m for its first private debt fund.

Adams Street Partners has hired Justin Lawrence, formerly of Ares Management, as a principal for its private credit team, Private Debt Investor has learned.

Lawrence will source, underwrite and execute debt financing to private equity-backed mid-market companies and will be based in the firm’s New York office. He was most recently a vice president in the direct lending group at Ares, according to a statement. Prior to Ares, he was an associate at MidOcean Partners and an analyst at the financial sponsors group at Merrill Lynch.

The addition of Lawrence to the Adams Street private credit team comes as private equity sponsors’ demand for debt financing continues to grow, according to the firm.

“Record high dry powder available in private equity funds and upcoming leveraged loan maturities continues to fuel demand for private debt,” Shahab Rashid, partner and co-founder of the firm’s private credit team, wrote in an email.

Adams Street launched its first private credit fund – targeting senior debt, mezzanine debt, preferred equity and unitranche – last July, as PDI exclusively reported. The Adams Street Private Credit Fund has raised $312 million and has a fundraising target of $1 billion, PDI data showed.

Rashid and Bill Sacher, both former Oaktree Capital executives, head the private credit team at the firm. Sacher and Rashid launched the strategy in January 2016.

Launched in 1972, Adams Street is headquartered in Chicago and manages several alternative strategies, including private equity, co-investments and secondaries. Adams Street manages $30 billion across its investment strategies. In addition to New York and Chicago, the firm’s other US offices are in Boston and Menlo Park, California. Its international outposts are in London, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo.