THL Credit begins succession plan

The Boston-headquartered firm will see Chris Flynn and Sam Tillinghast assume the roles of co-chief executives and co-CIOs, while previous incumbent James Hunt (pictured) will retain his post as chairman.

James Hunt, chief executive, chief investment officer and chairman of THL Credit, is handing over the first of those two positions to two colleagues, whilst retaining the chairmanship of the firm, THL said in a statement.

Hunt will also remain as executive chairman of THL Credit Advisors, THL Credit’s external manager.

Boston-based Chris Flynn and Houston-based Sam Tillinghast will become co-chief executives and co-chief investment officers with effect from 31 July.

Both have been at the firm since its launch in 2007, and have worked together for 18 years having previously held senior roles at SunAmerica Corporate Finance and later at beleaguered insurer AIG after it acquired SunAmerica 1998.

Flynn has also previously worked for Black Diamond Capital and Heller Financial.

Commenting in a statement, Hunt said of the moves: “This textbook succession, by compelling internal executives, will occur over a comfortable period of time to maintain close continuity with shareholders, borrowers, lenders and our investment origination sources.” 

Other senior positions at the firm remain unchanged. These include: LA-based Hunter Stropp as president of THL Credit; Terry Olson, COO and CFO; Stephanie Sullivan, chief legal officer and general counsel; and Brian Good and Jim Fellows, co-Heads of THL Credit’s Tradable Credit platform.

THL Credit specialises in high-yield credit and invests across the capital structure, from syndicated senior debt to common equity in mid-market companies. The firm has $4.1 billion of assets under management. Its headquarters are in Boston, but it also operates from offices in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

THL Credit Advisors is the investment adviser of THL Credit and the parent of THL Credit Senior Loan Strategies. THL Credit is the debt-focused affiliate of venerable US buyout firm Thomas H Lee Partners.

Hunt started THL Credit in 2007, following six years sourcing unsponsored credit deals with Bison Capital, an asset management firm in Los Angeles that he co-founded in 2001. In an interview with PDI last year, he said he was inspired to work on more sponsor-backed transactions, which is now a THL Credit specialty. The firm also went public in 2010.