THL makes hire in direct lending division

The Boston-based firm scooped up a veteran mid-market lender with experience originating investments.

Eric Lee, formerly of Credit Suisse Park View business development company, has landed at THL Credit following his old firm’s sale to Cion Investment Corporation.

Lee is now a director in THL’s direct lending arm, which targets lower mid-market companies – specifically businesses with an EBITDA of between $5 million and $50 million, with an emphasis on those $25 million and under. The firm looks to invest in first lien and second lien debt along with unitranche loans in transactions involving a private equity sponsor.

In his new position, Lee is based in New York and oversees the origination, evaluation and execution of investments along with managing them, according to THL’s website. While at Credit Suisse, Lee was responsible for originating, structuring and monitoring investments. Earlier in his career he worked at UBS and Stonington Partners.

Lee could not be reached for comment.

As Private Debt Investor exclusively reported, former Credit Suisse BDC chief investment officers Jens Ernberg and Tom Hall, are looking for a partner firm to launch a direct lending business. Ernberg and Hall were aiming to keep their team, which included Lee, intact. The two ex-CIOs could not be reached for comment.

Cion, which is sub-advised by an Apollo Global Management affiliate, purchased the Swiss investment bank’s mid-market lending vehicle for $276.9 million after Credit Suisse put its BDC on the block last summer.

THL’s direct lending investments favour companies with an enterprise value of $75 million to $250 million and have a target hold size of between $10 million and $35 million, with the capacity for up to $50 million.

The Boston-based alternative lender is currently seeking $350 million for THL Direct Lending Fund III. The fund already held a first close on $210 million, according to PDI data. Commitments include a $50 million pledge from the University of Michigan endowment.