Friday letter: Jobs merry-go-round

The wave of hirings and firings brought on by industry consolidation is growing, and now bankers are beginning to feel the ripple effect

Hand-in-hand with the disruption caused by the current wave of consolidation that appears to be crashing over the private debt market comes a more fluid jobs market. And the key departures and notable hires are continuing on both sides of the pond.

Of course, GE Capital has produced a disproportionate volume of moves. This week PDI reported that Howard Sharp, head of origination and sponsor coverage EMEA at the firm’s European sponsor finance unit, is on gardening leave. 

This comes after the departure in June of Sharp’s colleague Chris Fowler, a managing director who had been with GE Capital for more than 10 years and who reappeared at CVC Credit Partners in July

And while the European departures come a little later than those in the US, there has been movement there too. 

Former GE Capital principals have cropped up at AllianceBernstein, Golub Capital and Medley Management, while the entire real estate team joined Annaly Capital Management in May, where they will build up the mortgage REITs origination platform.

In the case of GAM’s acquisition of Renshaw Bay, it was actually a departure that drove the sale. The firm’s founder, Bill Winters, moved to emerging markets-focused bank Standard Chartered to take the chief executive role this year, leaving an uncertain future for the real estate debt provider. 

Earlier this month, however, GAM said it had entered a definitive agreement to acquire Renshaw Bay and that the entire 10-strong real estate team, led by Jon Rickerts, will transfer to GAM. The deal is expected to complete in October.

Not all of the significant hires that PDI has reported on over the past few months can be directly tied to consolidation, but most are a clear bid for organic growth. Golub Capital, which has never hidden its preference for the reassurance brought by lending to a private equity-backed firm, has hired an unsponsored origination expert to open a new office in North Carolina. Significant hires have also cropped up at other rapidly growing firms like Varagon and Twin Brook Capital Partners.

Adamas Asset Management has made a slew of hires across a number of areas, including Marc de Kloe who will co-ordinate with the China-focused firm’s European investors.

TPG’s European direct lending outfit in London, TSL Europe, has also been building up its team this year, including hires from Babson Capital Europe, GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Lazard. 

And it is the second half of that list that is notable. 

An increasing number of bankers are looking at asset managers and private fund managers in a new light as regards to where they would prefer to work – PDI knows a few who have casually asked who is hiring.

So, just as it’s unlikely that the consolidation within the private debt arena has ended, the hiring merry-go-round will continue to throw up interesting moves and clues about strategy.

*This article was updated on 21 August to reflect that Golub has opened an office in North Carolina, not South, as originally stated.