American Capital hires specialty finance expert

American Capital has hired Joel Houck to develop a new closed-end fund, drawing on his experience in specialty finance and commercial banking.

American Capital Strategies has added a new managing partner and senior vice president to its roster, former Wachovia Capital Markets senior analyst Joel Houck. He is developing a new closed-end fund for the firm.

At Wachovia, Houck covered companies in the specialty finance sector, a branch of commercial banking that focuses on subprime credit classes. Before, he worked as a senior equity analyst at AG Edwards & Sons, where he established research coverage of the specialty finance sector at the firm. Prior to joining AG Edwards, Houck spent six years in the commercial banking industry as a credit and commercial loan officer at NationsBank and PNC Bank.

“[Houck’s] profound knowledge of our organisation and operations couple with his expertise in specialty finance and commercial banking make him the ideal candidate to develop a new fund,” chairman, president and chief executive Malon Wilkus said in a statement.

American Capital has had an active summer. At the end of June, the firm completed a $1 billion equity raise in just four days through its 29th public offering. In the last few months, the firm has been involved in a number of deals as well, including an $8.9 million investment in female-focused medical device company HALT Medical, a $125 million investment in CAMP Systems International, and a $100 million investment in the creation of independent film financing company Oceana Media Finance, among others.