Thoma Bravo names Thym to lead credit platform

The former head of Goldman Sachs's private credit group in the Americas is charged with expanding the tech specialist’s fledgling credit business.

Thoma Bravo has named Oliver Thym to head its credit platform as it moves to expand the relatively young business.

Thym is replacing Jack LeRoy, who is said to have left the firm to pursue other opportunities. Thym is joining the tech-focused private equity firm after a 23-year career at Goldman Sachs, where he most recently was partner and head of the private credit group in the Americas for the merchant banking division. He will oversee Thoma Bravo’s credit funds and strategic debt investments, a platform that was launched just three years ago.

Like its San Francisco and Chicago-based parent, Thoma Bravo’s credit platform focuses on software and technology-enabled service sectors, which have benefited from the work-from-home and online shopping trends heightened by the covid-19 pandemic. Since 2017, the credit platform has invested or committed $3.5 billion across 48 issuers, representing a fraction of Thoma Bravo’s more than $70 billion under management. That number was significantly enhanced by the manager’s announcement Monday that it had raised $22.8 billion across three private equity funds, including the largest-ever tech fund. As recently as January, when sister publication Private Equity International interviewed Carl Thoma at a conference, the firm managed about $40 billion.

In September 2019, Thoma Bravo launched its second credit fund, Thoma Bravo Credit Fund II, seeking $1 billion, after capping a successful raise of $750 million for its first credit fund earlier last year.

Thym’s “deep expertise in credit and strong, long-standing relationships across sponsors and institutional investors will help us grow our credit business,” Orland Bravo, a founder and managing partner of Thoma Bravo, said in a statement. He said the firm is adding scale to its platform to take advantage of “the exciting opportunities” in the credit markets.

At Goldman Sachs, Thym headed a considerably larger credit platform, with some $45 billion of assets under management. He said he was “very excited” to join Thoma Bravo’s “highly successful” credit platform on the strength of a tested strategy, and at a “pivotal moment” to grow the platform.

In recent years, more technology-focused private equity firms made inroads into the private debt world. They include Francisco Partners, Vista Equity Partners, and Silver Lake. As Private Debt Investor previously reported, start-up companies are increasingly turning to private credit to expand their businesses.