Cerberus launches San Francisco office, makes pair of hires

The two investment professionals, joining from White Oak Global Advisors, will also work throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Alternative asset management behemoth Cerberus Capital Management is expanding its mid-market lending operations into northern California and boosting its personnel in the area, the New York-based firm said on Thursday.

Cerberus Business Finance will open an office in San Francisco and has hired Scott Johnston as a managing director and Kurt Peterson as a vice president. Both formerly worked at White Oak Global Advisors, which is headquartered in San Francisco, from 2011 to this year.

The firm will hire and grow the office as its business activity in the area picks up, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Johnston, who also held positions at Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Bay View Capital, will oversee sourcing, underwriting and managing investments in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Peterson will assist Johnston in this effort.

“The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are growing markets for middle-market business across a wide spectrum of industries,” Cerberus Business Finance vice chairman Gerry Daniello said in the statement.

The Bay Area office will be the firm’s fourth US office, adding to current offices in Chicago and Los Angeles and its headquarters in New York. Outside North America, Cerberus maintains 10 European offices and two Asian outposts, one in Beijing and one in Tokyo.

In May, Cerberus added Andrew Woolford as a managing director to oversee its capital markets activity. Previously, Woolford held positions at CIBC and Morgan Stanley.