Ares Commercial Finance hires distressed credit veteran

Mitch Drucker, formerly of Garrison, has joined as a partner with 'strong relationships in the restructuring community'.

Ares Commercial Finance has hired Mitch Drucker as a partner and member of the asset-based lender’s leadership team, alongside Mitch Goldstein, partner and co-head of Ares Credit Group, and others. Drucker will also sit on ACF’s investment committee and will be involved in all aspects of the business, from origination to portfolio management.

Since 2007, Drucker had worked at Garrison Investment Group, a credit, distressed and asset-based investor. He was responsible for corporate finance investments in Garrison’s opportunity and direct lending funds and served on its management and investment committees. His experience includes distressed investing and mid-market leveraged finance for acquisitions, growth and restructurings. Ares said Drucker’s emphasis was on asset-based, cashflow and enterprise value financing.

Before joining Garrison, Drucker spent 23 years at CIT Group, where he held various positions including leader of the company’s hedge fund coverage and national restructuring groups. He also served as co-president of CIT Business Capital, where he presided over 200 professionals consisting of leverage and asset finance originators, three industry coverage teams and the risk and credit policy committees.

In a statement, Goldstein cited Drucker’s decades of experience, as well as his ability to deliver financing solutions “through numerous economic cycles”. Goldstein also noted Drucker’s “strong relationships in the restructuring community” and his experience in rescue and restructuring finance. Goldstein added that Drucker’s background will help ACF to assist sponsors with their liquidity needs for years to come, and “especially during the current extraordinary period”.

Drucker told Private Debt Investor that “the speed and magnitude of the market dislocation has led to acute liquidity needs across a wide swath of companies and industries”. He said that though Ares Commercial Finance is focused on addressing the needs of its incumbent borrowers, it is also seeing strong demand for new asset-based financings, including both in-court and out-of-court restructuring and rescue financings.

He noted that ACF’s asset-based lending products are “very flexible” and the asset class has historically performed well during past cyclical downturns. ACF is seeing requests for refinancings of defaulted and downgraded credit facilities, debtor in possession and exit financings, distressed acquisition financing and special purpose vehicle financing of previously unencumbered assets, he added.

A unit of Ares Management, ACF focuses on providing credit facilities of as much as $200 million to middle and lower middle-market companies across a wide range of industries. Ares Management had $149 billion of assets under management as of 31 March 2020.