LGIM building out private debt business

Nicholas Bamber, who joins from RBS, will initially concentrate on European private placements but ultimately has a much wider remit in his newly created role as head of private assets.

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) is building out a new private debt business. 

The first step in this expansion was the appointment of Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) former head of corporate coverage in the UK, Nicholas Bamber. 

Bamber’s newly created role, head of private assets, will see him first build out the UK insurer’s presence in the European private placement market, before expanding the private debt unit to cover other markets and instruments. 

“This is an important next step in our strategy to provide holistic end-to-end solutions for our customers. Demand for private debt is growing as investors look to lock into the enhanced yields that this asset class can offer over the term. Nick will focus initially on European private placements, but the ambition is to build a global business across currencies and asset classes,” said LGIM’s head of investment Aaron Meder. 

Asked whether LGIM intends to move into more illiquid credit markets including the leveraged loan market and more illiquid credit arenas such as mid-market private debt, a spokeswoman declined to elaborate on exactly which areas the strategy will later expand into. 

But she said that the private assets business will invest in unlisted and / or illiquid institutional debt issued by both corporates and the public sector. LGIM’s definition of private debt includes bonds, private placements and loans from across the ratings spectrum, she added. 

Bamber worked at RBS for more than 20 years and held a number of senior roles including head of private placements and head of investment grade corporate debt capital markets for Western Europe. 

LGIM managed £717 billion in assets for more than 3,000 clients, as of 30 September 2015. Strategies include equities, fixed income, commercial property and cash.