D.E. Shaw raises more than $650m for special opps debt fund

The private credit vehicle will focus on synthetic securitisations.

D.E. Shaw said it has raised more than $650 million in capital commitments for its special opportunities debt fund, D.E. Shaw Diopter Fund. The manager said in a news release that the fund will focus on synthetic securitisations that aim to help banks manage risks and enhance balance sheet and business model efficiency.

The firm also said it raised more than $450 million for a private equity vehicle called D.E. Shaw Voltaic Fund, which is expected to primarily target investments in privately owned companies, particularly those in the post-seed or growth-equity stages of their lifecycles. Although the firm said it has invested in private markets for much of its history, Voltaic is its first standalone fund dedicated to private equity investments.

The New York-based manager said its entities, principals and employees contributed a total of more than $150 million to the new funds. It didn’t identify the other investors.

Diopter is overseen by D.E. Shaw’s Regulatory Capital Optimization Strategy team, a unit within the firm’s asset-backed securities group, and its private credit investment team. Fund oversight is led by Rich McKinney, Marianna Fassinotti and Syril Pathmanathan.

McKinney, a managing director at D.E. Shaw who oversees the firm’s private credit investment unit, said: “We see attractive opportunities in the synthetic securitisation marketplace, and issuance appears poised to accelerate further as the regulatory landscape for financial institutions evolves and the banking sector seeks to better manage risks, optimise balance sheets and improve profitability.” The firm raised its first private credit fund in 2008, and since 2012, including Diopter, it has raised a total of more than $3.5 billion in the asset class.

Edwin Jager, a managing director who oversees fundamental equities, will manage the Voltaic fund. He said the firm was “grateful for the support we received to raise a first-time fund in this challenging market environment,” adding, “We believe Voltaic is well-positioned to take advantage of both the current and longer-term opportunity set and will benefit from our extensive experience investing in equity opportunities across private and public markets, in addition to our sourcing, data analysis and risk management capabilities.”