Former Carlyle exec launches new CLSA platform – exclusive

The CITIC-backed asset manager is venturing into the private credit space in Asia with Greg Park at the helm.

Former Carlyle Asia structured credit fund head Gregory Park has joined CITIC-backed CLSA Capital Partners as fund head to start a new private credit platform, according to market sources.

The new platform will comprise a combination of CLSA executives and former team members from Lending Ark Capital, an alternative investment firm based in Hong Kong. CLSA Capital Partners has traditionally focused on private equity and real estate investment across Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining CLSA, Park was the chairman of Lending Ark Capital. Before that, he was head of the Asia structured credit opportunities (CASCO) fund at Carlyle where he was responsible for private debt origination, structuring and portfolio management activities. Carlyle has reportedly been winding down the fund a few months after Park’s departure. Park also founded Northstone Peak Investment Advisors, an alternative credit manager focusing on private debt financings in Asia.

Carol Lee Park, founder of Lending Ark Capital, also joins Park at CLSA Capital Partners as a managing director for the new platform. Park was a partner at Northstone Peak Investment Advisors and also held senior investment roles in J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

CLSA declined to comment on the developments.

Lending Ark Capital is a specialist alternative investment firm founded in 2015 focusing on providing private debt and equity capital to Asian corporates and banks, with a heavy focus on the financial services sector including fintech, according to Linkedin.

With global investors chasing yield, Asian private credit has started to attract more interest from international investment managers. Recently, it was revealed that BlackRock is seeking to raise a minimum of $300 million and a maximum of $500 million for its first Asian private credit fund. Bain Capital Credit also launched its first $1 billion Asia-focused special credit fund in February this year.

CLSA Capital Partners, which manages over $3 billion of assets, is the private equity arm of the Hong-Kong based brokerage CLSA and has been targeting mid-market opportunities in Japan through its Sunrise Japan fund since 2006. The company was acquired by China’s CITIC Securities in 2013.