Onex establishing direct lending platform

The firm has launched into direct lending by hiring Walt Jackson from Goldman Sachs, where he was a chief operating officer within the Private Credit Group.  

Onex Credit, a subsidiary of Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corporation, announced last week that it had hired Walt Jackson to establish a direct lending platform. The unit will be focusing on event-driven, long/short, long-only and market dislocation strategies as well as providing non-investment grade loans to mid-market and larger businesses.

Jackson comes to Onex from Goldman Sachs, where he was the chief operating officer of the Private Credit Group in the merchant banking division. He has 30 years of experience in leveraged loan, high-yield and mezzanine markets, having previously been a vice president of the Bank of Nova Scotia and a director at Credit Suisse.  He joins a team of 25 full-time employees and will be based in New Jersey.

Jackson didn’t return calls seeking further comment by press time.

As of the end of last year, Onex Credit managed approximately $6.5 billion though its debt strategies, including funds for banks, insurance companies, foundations, funds of hedge funds and high-net-worth investors. Its key areas of focus are leveraged loans, collateralized loan obligations and stressed / distressed corporate debt.

Other Canadian investors have lately been launching or expanding direct lending platforms. TD Bank Asset Management announced the launch of two new private debt funds last month. Pension manager PSP Investments also started a direct lending platform last year by opening a private debt office in New York. And the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) expanded its private credit suite by acquiring Antares Capital from General Electric in August.