ICG invests in liquid credit business

ICG’s liquid credit head, Dagmar Kent-Kershaw, is to be replaced by Babson Capital high-yield specialist Zak Summerscale as part of push to grow that side of the business.

Credit specialist Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) has hired Zak Summerscale from Babson to head its credit fund management business for Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The London-based firm announced the hire as part of an expansion of its capital markets capabilities.

Dagmar Kent-Kershaw, ICG’s current head of credit fund management and a member of the investment committee, is leaving after eight years at ICG. Kent-Kershaw plans to take a career break, PDI understands.

Asked if the decision was made before or after Summerscale was recruited, a spokeswoman for ICG said: “ICG has been committed to developing our capital markets capabilities for some time and Dagmar’s decision to leave the company has given us the opportunity to recruit a senior hire with a strong track record in this specialism.”

With someone of Summerscale’s reputation on board, ICG expects to raise more money for existing liquid credit strategies than might otherwise be the case, the spokeswoman added when asked if the firm expected to launch new liquid credit funds immediately.

Summerscale will be joined by Kam Tugnait, also formerly with Babson Capital. Tugnait will be director, high-yield bonds, at ICG and report to Summerscale. Both will take up their new roles in mid-June.

The move is in response to increased demand for both ICG’s liquid and illiquid credit strategies. Summerscale has been tasked with building the firm’s liquid credit business. He helped Babson launch a number of high-yield bond funds and grew assets under management in high-yield strategies from €5 billion in 2011 to more than €12.5 billion.

Summerscale sits on Babson’s investment leadership team, running the European high-yield investment group. He is also chief investment officer of European high yield, chairman of the European investment and global high-yield committees and a member of the global special situations committee.

Tugnait joined Babson in 2011 and was a key figure in supporting the growth overseen by Summerscale, ICG said. His resume includes stints at Standard Bank, United Bank of Kuwait and Gartmore Investment where he was head of high yield.

“Our investors are telling us they want greater access to alternative fixed income strategies and we needed to invest to augment our position as a European leader, and prepare to scale up and offer more global opportunities. A key component in driving this growth is having senior leadership with a proven track record, and depth of understanding of what investors need, and where to access new opportunities. ICG is delighted to have attracted two top talents to reinforce our team and advance our growth in this area,” said executive director Benoit Durteste (pictured with ICG chief executive Christophe Evain).

ICG is a London-listed global alternative asset manager. The firm had €21.2 billion of assets under management, as of 31 December.