Oddo BHF hires Markus Geiger to lead private debt arm

Geiger will lead a team of five debt professionals with an initial focus on senior secured debt.

German-based banking group Oddo BHF has hired a former Kartesia executive to set up a private debt practice.

Dr Markus Geiger, who spent four years as head of the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region at pan-European debt house Kartesia, will lead the new division as head of private debt at Oddo BHF Asset Management.

The firm said its first offering to clients will focus on secured secured debt deals in the German Mittelstand. It plans to offer investment in private debt instruments as well as advising private debt funds for institutional clients and retail investors.

“Given the low interest rates on traditional bonds, institutional investors are increasingly interested in alternative investments. At the same time, medium-sized companies are looking for new financing opportunities in view of the regulatory capital constraints of banks. Private debt funds bring both sides together,” the company said in a statement.

Geiger will be based in Frankfurt and will lead a team of five investment specialists who have a track record of originating and executing more than 50 buyouts and corporate acquisitions in the German mid-market. The team will continue to develop new strategies across the whole debt capital structure.

Other senior members of the private debt team include Christian Sievers, who spent 11 years working in Oddo BHF’s leveraged finance division as a project manager, and Martin Siml, who spent six years at Oddo BHF where he worked on a number of leveraged finance deals focusing on origination and risk management.

Oddo BHF has been expanding its presence in private markets this year. Back in April, it closed an acquisition of private equity fund of funds specialist ACG Capital.