Former Carlyle fundraiser to become partner at firm founded by CarVal, GSO vets – exclusive

Ben Schryber will join the upstart credit shop where he will head business development.

A former senior managing director from The Carlyle Group’s credit sales team has departed the Washington-based alternative asset behemoth and will join the staff of a new opportunistic investment firm.

Ben Schryber will become a partner and head of business development at Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, a source familiar with the situation said. The strategy for the firm, this person said, is to build out a flexible capital base with its first fund being a shorter-term lock-up fund.

Schryber’s first day will be after 3 September, the US’s Labor Day holiday.  The source did not specify a reason for the departure from Carlyle. Previously, Schryber was global head of credit at London-based placement agent First Avenue Partners for four years and, prior to that, worked at Albourne Partners and Blue Ridge Partners.

Kennedy Lewis declined to comment, while a Carlyle spokeswoman could not be reached for immediate comment.

The new firm so far counts institutional investors and family offices among its limited partners, the source said. It focuses on mid-market opportunistic credit investments that target a mid-teens net internal rate of return, this person added.

David Chene, formerly CarVal Investors’ head of US corporate securities, and Darren Richman, formerly a GSO Capital Partners senior managing director and investment committee member, founded the firm in September 2017.  John Brice, formerly a CarVal founder, also recently joined as chairman of the firm.

Kennedy Lewis is targeting up to $500 million for its debut vehicle, Kennedy Lewis Capital Partners, according to Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory filings. It will charge a management fee of up to 1.5 percent and a 20 percent carried interest after clearing an unspecified hurdle rate, according to the firm’s SEC registration documents.

Investments will be in portfolio companies with enterprise values of $300 million-$3 billion and will likely be one- to three-year commitments from capital deployment to full monetisation, the SEC documents show. The fund will likely hold 15-25 investments at any point and will range of between 5-7 percent of the vehicle.

Chene’s and Richman’s new credit shop comes as special situations and distressed debt vehicles face a favourable fundraising environment, as they continue to make up a larger portion of all private credit capital raised. Through the first six months of the year, distressed funds made up 33 percent of the total money raised for all debt strategies. In 2017, that number stood at 32 percent, up from 2016’s 26 percent, also an increase from 2015’s 20 percent.