Vista hires Ares veteran to lead direct-lending business

The credit arm of the software and tech-enabled start-ups investor appoints Greg Galligan to oversee its direct-lending business.

Vista Equity Partners – an investment firm based in Austin, Texas, that focuses on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses – has appointed Greg Galligan to the new position of senior managing director of its credit-investing arm.

Galligan is a direct-lending veteran, most recently at Ares. He will manage the direct-lending business within the Vista Credit Partners (VCP) multi-products credit platform. This will involve both origination and underwriting efforts for both founder-led and sponsor-backed borrowers. Galligan will report to David Flannery, president of VCP and senior managing director at Vista.

Vista’s credit arm was launched in 2013 and its most recent fund close was for Vista Credit Opportunities Fund III on $2.3 billion in the autumn of 2021, after setting a target of $1.5 billion. This closing had a mix of limited partners, including public pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, corporations and insurance companies.

At the end of the second quarter of 2022, VCP had deployed more than $9.4 billion and exceeded $6 billion in assets under management. Its head count has grown nearly 40 percent since 2021, according to a person familiar with the firm.

Galligan has more than 20 years of experience in leveraged finance, including 11 years at Ares, where he led its direct-lending efforts in the US. He also worked for five years on the origination, structuring and underwriting of leveraged finance at DLJ Investment Partners.

Flannery said of the new hire: “Greg is a deeply knowledgeable credit investor with demonstrable experience driving growth and product innovation at some of the industry’s largest direct lending platforms, and we are incredibly pleased to welcome him to the credit team.”

According to PDI data, VCP flagship fundraisings have become steadily larger over time. Its first fund closed on $196 million in 2015. Its second flagship fund closed on $935 million in 2017. The 2021 closing, then, represented a continuation of this scaling up. Each fund had a senior debt strategy and a North American focus.

Vista Equity Partners had $94 billion in assets under management as of 30 June 2022.