Alcentra makes senior hires in US and UK

 Alcentra, led by David Forbes-Nixon, is building its presence in the US and the UK with two senior hires: ex-Highland Capital managing partner Jack Yang, and former European head at Cantor Fitzgerald Mike Johnson. 

 Jack Yang has joined Bank of New York Mellon-owned Alcentra to lead the firm’s business development efforts in the US, while Mike Johnson has joined to lead its UK direct lending business.

Yang has been named as head of America’s business development, and will be responsible for tailoring investment solutions for US clients across a wide range of investment strategies including leveraged loans, high yield bonds, distressed debt, structured credit and direct lending/mezzanine financing'.

Yang was previously head of business development at Onex Credit Partners and Highland Capital. Prior to that, he was global head of leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch. In his new role, he will report to Paul Hatfield, president and head of Alcentra US.

Johnson joins Alcentra as a managing director and head of UK direct lending. He will be responsible for sourcing assets and structuring deals through the firm’s UK funds.

Johnson was previously head of European leveraged capital markets at Cantor Fitzgerald and has almost 30 years of experience in the leveraged finance markets. He will report to Graeme Delaney-Smith, head of European direct lending and mezzanine investments.

In November 2012, Alcentra was named as one of six debt fund managers receiving funding from the HM Treasury on the Business Finance Partnership for its £200 million pool (€232 million; $301 million) to lend to UK companies. The asset manager has confirmed that it is raising a European direct lending fund, which will aim to lend £500 million to European mid-sized corporates.

“Mike Johnson will help build out our UK direct lending business with his extensive network of contacts”, said Forbes-Nixon. “Our strategies related to the HM Treasury's Business Finance Partnership are designed to provide financing to high quality mid-market UK companies in the form of secured loans comprising first lien, uni-tranche, mezzanine and mezzanine-related investments. It is the first part of Alcentra's European direct lending strategy,” he added.

Alcentra has an investment track record that dates back to 1998 and spans 50 separate investment funds totalling approximately $23 billion. The firm has 74 employees across offices in London, New York, Boston and Singapore and is 98 percent owned by the BNY Mellon with the remainder held by employees.