Oaktree appoints former AIG exec CEO

 Hiring Jay Wintrob in the newly-created chief executive role coincides with several other senior appointments at the credit investment firm.  

Oaktree Capital Management, the Los Angeles-based credit manager, has hired Jay Wintrob to the newly created title of chief executive officer. Wintrob previously spent 27 years at insurer AIG, where he held a variety of senior roles and most recently served as president and chief executive of AIG Life and Retirement unit.

Wintrob will take up his new role on 1 November and has already been a member of Oaktree’s board of directors since 2011. His responsibilities will include developing and managing Oaktree’s business, including driving the firm’s focus on achieving strong returns, increasing efficiency and profitability and helping the firm capitalize on growth opportunities

“After nearly 20 years, including the last two and a half as a public company, Oaktree has expanded substantially in terms of assets, employees, breadth and complexity. It’s time for us to turn to a world-class financial services executive to take our business to the next level,” Howard Marks, chairman and co-founder, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that Jay has agreed to take the helm, bringing to Oaktree his intimate familiarity with our business, vast experience managing large and complex financial services companies, and a record of leading highly motivated and talented professionals serving their clients.”

Wintrob resigned from AIG in September, reportedly due to failing to rise to the top of AIG Group. He was largely expected to succeed Robert Benmosche as chief executive, but Peter Hancock, who was previously an executive vice president and head of AIG Property Casualty, took on that role last month. The insurer also went through a structural reorganization in September and will not be replacing Wintrob in this role. 

In addition to Wintrop’s appointment, Bruce Karsh, president and a co-founder of Oaktree, will join Marks in the role of co-chairman. Karsh will continue as Oaktree’s chief investment officer and as portfolio manager for its distressed opportunities and value opportunities strategies.

“I’ve known Jay Wintrob for over 30 years, both personally and professionally, and he’s a superb fit with Oaktree. Jay has been a valuable contributor to our board over the last few years, and he understands and appreciates our core investment philosophy and distinctive culture,” Karsh said in a statement.

Additionally, John Frank, who has served as Oaktree’s managing principal since 2006 and previously as general counsel, has been named vice chairman.

Oaktree has $91.1 billion in assets under management in a variety of private and public credit strategies, opportunistic investments and real estate, among others. It emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investing. Oaktree is headquartered in Los Angeles and has offices in 17 cities around the world. The firm went public in 2011.