Victory Park Capital expands into insurance

The firm hired two people from EquiTrust Life Insurance to start the firm’s expansion into investment options curated for insurance companies.

Victory Park Capital hired two individuals to start an insurance services venture, the alternative lender said in a statement.

Connell Hasten and Joshua Platek joined the Chicago-based firm to lead its expansion into insurance investment options. The new branch hopes to be a “one-stop investment management solution” for insurance companies, according to the announcement. Both individuals were formerly at EquiTrust Life Insurance.

Hasten was named a partner. At EquiTrust, he was a managing partner of investments, and oversaw private equity and debt investments. Before that, he was a portfolio manager at Guggenheim Partners, where he mainly worked with insurance companies.

Platek was named as a vice president of the insurance branch. He held the same title at EquiTrust, where he co-managed a structured credit and private debt portfolio. Prior to that, he was an associate at Guggenheim Partners.

Hasten and Platek will originate, underwrite, execute and manage investments for insurance investors, according to a press release.

The firm declined to comment.

Victory Park typically invests in mid-market companies through direct lending and distressed debt, with transaction sizes of $25 million-$100 million. The firm also invests in small businesses with transactions of $5 million-$25 million. The new insurance expansion will look to follow the same strategy, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Victory Park is not the first firm to expand into insurance lending this year. During the first quarter, Blackstone formally launched Blackstone Insurance Solutions, which was meant to help make all of Blackstone’s asset classes available to insurance investors. In August, Carlyle entered into a partnership with AIG to utilise DSA Re for global insurance investments.

The firm is currently raising a joint venture fund with the International Finance Corporation to fund venture capital in emerging markets. Victory Park was founded in 2007 and has invested more than $3.8 billion since.