SL Capital makes senior hire for private debt

The new hire reflects how the investment manager is moving into more direct investment opportunities.

SL Capital Partners has appointed John Seal as head of private junior debt.

The private markets group, traditionally focused on private equity and infrastructure, is expanding its strategic credit capabilities with the senior hire.

Seal has experience in the European direct and syndicated leveraged loan markets through his time as founder and managing partner at New Amsterdam Capital, a specialist debt investment firm based in London.

Prior to this, he held a number of roles in leveraged finance in New York.

Seal commented in a statement: “I’m very excited to be joining the SL Capital team as they continuously expand their reach in private markets to provide innovative investment solutions for their clients. My direct experience in European debt markets, combined with SL Capital’s presence in the European private equity sector, gives me great confidence that we are well equipped to successfully identify and access attractive investment opportunities.”

The private junior debt strategy at SL Capital is at an early stage but the group has been moving into more direct investment markets in recent years. The fund-of-funds model has been a declining part of SL Capital’s business, while its focus on co-investment and secondaries has grown, PDI understands.

Peter McKellar, senior managing partner and chief investment officer at SL Capital, said in a statement that the firm has been researching the sponsor-backed debt markets for some time. “We will provide clients with direct access to European private equity debt in the markets where SL Capital and John have a strong reputation and proven long-term relationships.”

SL Capital Partners has raised €8.8 billion through 25 funds over the past 17 years. The firm invests in private equity via primary, secondary and direct co-investments. It also operates in direct infrastructure investments, through primary funds into strategic credit and now direct junior debt. The firm manages segregated accounts for some of the world’s largest pension funds.

In total, the firm has 24 dedicated investment professional and 54 staff in Edinburgh, Boston and Munich. It works in partnership with Standard Life Investments, which has £250 billion under management as of 30 June.