Atalaya bolsters RE focus with Apollo hire

Young Kwon joins Atalaya from Apollo to focus on the firm’s real estate debt investment strategy.

US-headquartered investment firm Atalaya Capital Management has expanded its real estate focus with the appointment of Young Kwon from rival firm Apollo.

He joins as a managing director and will be tasked with heading the firm’s real estate debt, structured products and equity investment strategies.

Before joining Atalaya, he spent six years at Apollo following a stint as a vice president at JP Morgan Asset Management.

Kwon is experienced in investing in commercial mortgage-backed securities, B-notes, mezzanine debt, preferred equity and equity.

Ivan Zinn, chief investment officer at Atalaya, said: “Our strength has been in identifying and capitalising on private credit opportunities, with real estate as one of our three core areas of expertise.”

Atalaya manages both an asset income fund and a special opportunities fund. The former, on its third incarnation, raised €300 million as of June and is eyeing up a final close of $500 million. In March, the firm surpassed its initial target of $750 million on the sixth special opportunities fund after reaching its hard-cap of $800 million.

Under its special opportunities fund, the firm has been looking more closely at real estate credit. Zinn was reported stating that the US corporate debt market has become more crowded as new players enter the space, noting that “we like to fish in a pond that’s a little smaller”. The firm’s real estate strategy has been targeting bridge and transitional lending, commercial and residential loans and security purchases.

Atalaya, established in 2006, has $2 billion of assets under management and invests in real estate, corporate debt and specialty finance.