CD&R credit executive joins TCW spin-out

Christine Vanden Beukel, a former Clayton Dubilier & Rice credit-focused executive, will open a London office for Crescent Capital at a time of tremendous opportunity for firms with capital in the region.

Christine Vanden Beukel, who joined Clayton Dubilier & Rice in 2009 to run a fledgling credit investing strategy, has been hired at TCW spin-out Crescent Capital to open a London office, according to sources with knowledge of the move.

Vanden Beukel left CD&R earlier this year and recently started at Crescent. The firm, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, was co-founded in 1991 by Mark Attanasio and other former executives from Drexel Burnham Lambert. TCW bought Crescent in 1995. A team of managers from the firm, including Attanasio, spun out of TCW last year.

CD&R and Vanden Beukel declined to comment. Crescent could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Vanden Beukel joined CD&R after spending 10 years at GSC Group in the London office. She led GSC’s European mezzanine lending and collateralised corporate debt activities. Prior to GSC, she worked for Greenwich Street Capital Partners, GSC’s predecessor under the Travelers Group umbrella.

It’s unclear why Vanden Beukel left CD&R as she declined to comment. However, sources said CD&R’s credit-targeted investment strategy never got up and running as the firm stuck with its core private equity practice.

While Vanden Beukel’s exact role at Crescent is not clear, the opportunity in the region for credit investments is enormous. As the sovereign debt crisis rages through various countries, financial institutions, corporations and governments have been selling assets cheaply, creating tremendous buying opportunities for firms with cash.

Also, the prospect of tightening credit markets in the eurozone opens up even more opportunity for firms that offer mezzanine and other debt products to investors. Crescent, according to its web site, operates various credit strategies, including mezzanine, bank loans, high yield and special situations.