Fidelity hires team for private credit

The large asset manager will assume management of a CLO fund that was launched by MeDirect and is planning other strategic moves in the asset class.

Fidelity International, a $706 billion asset manager, has launched into the private credit market by hiring a team from MeDirect Bank, a digital pan-European bank owned by private equity firm AnaCap, which has been looking to refocus on its retail activities.

The team is led by Michael Curtis who spent more than 20 years in the European private credit markets at the likes of ICG, 3i and Alpstar Capital prior to becoming chief investment officer at MeDirect in May 2018. Curtis becomes head of private credit strategies at Fidelity, reporting to Andrew McCaffery, Fidelity’s global chief investment officer.

The team will continue to manage the €400 million Grand Harbour CLO 2019-1 fund, a European collateralised loan obligation vehicle, which was MeDirect’s debut CLO vehicle and was priced in June 2019.

Other team members include Camille McLeod-Salmon, a credit portfolio manager who worked for BNP IM and Fortis prior to MeDirect, and CLO structurer Cyrille Javaux, who built up 17 years’ experience of CLO structuring, investing and trading at the likes of Stormharbour, Hayfin and Cairn Capital.

The team also includes an operations head and six credit analysts and is moving over to Fidelity in March this year.

Fidelity made clear in a statement that this was just the first step in its ambitions, saying that it would be developing “a full range of private credit strategies”.

“The hiring of this team is an important milestone for Fidelity as we look to build out a broader alternatives platform over the next few years,” said McCaffery.

A provider of investment solutions and retirement expertise, Fidelity’s clients include central banks, sovereign wealth funds, large corporates, financial institutions, insurers, wealth managers and private individuals.