Atalaya continues growth with partner hire

The firm brought on Matthew Rothfleisch following the launch of a fund series and the purchase of a CLO manager.

Atalaya Capital Management has made a key hire by appointing Matthew Rothfleisch, a longtime credit investment professional with a background in mid-market distressed investing and more liquid strategies.

The New York-based firm made the hire earlier this month to ensure it has a broader view of the market in what founder and chief investment officer Ivan Zinn said is part of the longer-term effort of the firm to expand its reach.

“We’ve talked about adding somebody that’s more focused on slightly more liquid markets for awhile, so you shouldn’t view it as a market call,” Atalaya managing partner and chief investment officer Ivan Zinn told Private Debt Investor. “Our general view is that you [should] have perspective across markets and having someone that’s thinking about more liquid markets is one leg of the stool [of building an asset management business].”

Zinn and Rothfleisch worked together at Highbridge Capital Management’s special opportunistic business in 2002, before the former founded Atalaya in 2006.

Most recently Rothfleisch was the founder of Rotation Capital where he was chief executive and chief investment officer, according to a statement announcing the hire. Before that he was a partner and senior portfolio manager at Del Mar Asset Management.

Atalaya’s business falls into three separate verticals: real estate, financial assets and corporate.

Its vehicles include the Atalaya Financial Asset Income Fund series, the fourth of which hit its $900 million hard-cap in May last year, and the Atalaya Special Opportunities Fund series, the sixth of which also closed on its hard-cap, amassing $800 million in 2016. It is in market with its seventh such fund, which has garnered commitments from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation and the Florida State Board of Administration.

No separate vehicle will be required should more liquid investments be made, Zinn noted.

“All of our funds can invest in more liquid opportunities,” Zinn said. “We don’t have a specific pocket of capital targeting liquid opportunities. Our view is having longer-dated or drawdown capital is the right model.”

Atalaya has also expanded its product set in recent months, including the May purchase of collateralised loan obligation manager TELOS Asset Management. Zinn explained that having a CLO platform is “one leg of the stool as well”. So far, he said Atalaya is focused on integrating the two firms, noting that they hired additional people for the CLO business and are making additions to TELOS’s technology.

The firm has also launched a fund from its financial assets strategy: an equipment leasing vehicle that is targeting $150 million, as Private Debt Investor previously reported. The equipment leasing vehicle is generally targeting net internal rates of return of 10 percent or less, Zinn said.

“Equipment leasing is not a particularly well trafficked by institutional investors,” Zinn said. “Beyond aircraft leasing, there’s very few [institutional investors] who have done any other leasing. We thought there was market opportunity to have a dedicated strategy.”