THL Credit founder moves to Kayne Anderson

Jim Hunt, formerly the chairman and chief executive of THL Credit, is now heading up the mid-market credit group at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.

Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors has hired Jim Hunt as a managing partner and chief executive of mid-market credit.

Hunt was founder, chairman, chief executive and chief investment officer at US mid-market lender THL Credit. He stepped down from the CEO and CIO role in 2014 but had continued as board chairman. 

At Kayne Anderson, Hunt will focus on corporate credit product development and oversee existing teams across the credit platform’s four US offices. Hunt is taking over from Terrence Quinn, who will remain a managing partner at the firm responsible for new business opportunities and client relations. 

Kayne Anderson’s mid-market lending group has about $1.7 billion in assets under management. The firm closed its Kayne Senior Credit Fund II at $1.1 billion last year.  

Hunt said he is looking to build a tradable credit platform, a business line he oversaw at THL Credit. He is also talking to teams about bringing other credit capabilities and asset classes to Kayne Anderson, though he declined to elaborate. 

Kayne’s credit platform lends to US companies seeking capital for growth, acquisitions, recapitalisations or changes of control. The firm focuses on companies with $10 million-$50 million EBITDA and invests $10 million-$75 million per transaction. The platform has investment teams in New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.

Ken Leonard, Al Ricchio, Andrew Marek and Doug Goodwillie oversee senior and unitranche credit in Chicago. Tom Archie, John McNulty and Jenna Young in New York manage second lien and mezzanine investments. Chris Higgins is responsible for sourcing West Coast transactions and developing client relationships out of Los Angeles, while Kurt Prohl holds a similar role in Houston.

Hunt founded THL in 2007 with Chris Flynn and Sam Tillinghast replacing him as co-CEOs and CIOs in 2014. 

Hunt was formerly a managing partner and chief executive of Bison Capital, which he co-founded in 2001 after a decade at SunAmerica Corporate Finance and SunAmerica Investments. He has also held a variety of leveraged lending, credit and finance positions at Citicorp. 

Kayne Anderson, which manages a variety of energy strategies, private equity, master limited partnerships and other vehicles, was planning to merge with Ares Management last year, though the merger fell apart in October.  

Ares’ debt platforms make up the majority of the firm’s assets, with direct lending at about $34 billion and tradable credit at $33 billion. Kayne Anderson was planning to grow its credit platform with the Ares’ tie-up but is now doing so organically.