DOWNLOAD: Goldman and Drexel, the firms that spawned the private credit giants

The investment banks – one still arguably the pinnacle of Wall Street and the other a casualty of, among other factors, run-ins with federal regulators – produced some of the biggest names in alternative lending.

As investors flocked to private credit in the past decade, many of the beneficiaries have been those with roots in the industry dating back to some of the most storied firms before the financial crisis. Two of these stand out: Goldman Sachs and the defunct investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Alumni from the two firms include some key figures at the largest alternative asset managers today, including five of the top 10 firms from our annual fundraising rankings, the PDI 50: Apollo Global Management (rank 3), GSO Capital Partners (5), HPS Investment Partners (6), Cerberus Capital Management (8) and Ares Management (10). That’s not to mention Goldman’s own presence in the group at number nine.

In this diaspora, we traced the career paths of co-founders, chief executives and chief investment officers and found a large number started at Goldman and Drexel or worked there early on in their careers. All of the firms we outlined fall within the top 25 of the PDI 50, which is compiled based on the amount of capital raised over the past five years.

Most of these firms were founded before the global financial crisis, and, in doing so, were poised to take advantage of the capital flowing into credit. All the firms continually close on mega-funds north of $3 billion, and notably, the strategies embraced by these massive vehicles don’t revolve around one method. They include senior debt, junior debt and distressed debt.

With the massive capital bases and the clout that comes with them, the above firms will likely continue to be key players in the industry for a while.

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