Exclusive: Omni hires former GE CEO

The London-based alternative lender has hired John Jenkins, former chief executive of GE Capital in the UK, to build and run its origination platform.

Former GE Capital UK chief executive John Jenkins has joined Capital Bridging Finance Limited (CBFL), the origination platform of alternative lender Omni Partners, as its new chief executive, Private Debt Investor can exclusively reveal.

Omni’s founder and head of risk Steve Clark told PDI that Jenkins will build and run Omni’s direct lending platform.

Clark described Jenkins, who during his eight year tenure at GE was responsible for its asset-based lending platform, as a “real heavyweight in lending”. CBFL’s origination platform is hoping to increase its lending capability to up to $700 million.

Omni Partners, which also manages an event-driven hedge fund, hopes to secure commitments from investors including a number of banks and US institutional investors for its origination platform. It is also fundraising for its short-term UK property lending fund Omni Secured Lending Fund I.

That fund has just raised its first external capital, receiving a commitment from a Swiss family office earlier this month, having initially been seeded by the firm's own capital. Omni said in a statement on Thursday it planned to raise more third party capital.

“We have a healthy pipeline of new investors intending to allocate to the fund, with a further $20m expected in the coming month,” Clark said in a statement. “The key characteristics of this strategy are superior asset quality, short tenor and high yield and CBFL’s track record of delivering returns over the last four years.”

The fund is used to make loans with a maximum tenor of 18 months, secured against property, with maximum LTV of 70 percent. Since its inception in February this year, the fund has completed 16 loans at an annual gross yield of 16.6 percent.