Welcome to Private Debt Investor

Dear Reader, 

Welcome to Private Debt Investor's first weekly newsletter. As well as a daily newsletter bringing you the best of the day’s data, news, analysis and selected content from our monthly magazine, each Friday we’ll aim to bring you a selection of the week’s top stories together with editorial comment on the most topical issues.

Earlier this week, AXA Private Equity's co-head of private debt, Cécile Mayer-Lévi, announced her departure from the firm. The official line was that she didn't wish to be involved in the forthcoming fundraisings that will ensue following completion of AXA PE's much-delayed spinout. In today's market, who can blame her? 

Raising capital in the current climate is challenging, even for a brand name like AXA PE. For the myriad of fledgling private debt fund managers, the road to closing is a long and winding one, as we discuss in detail in our March edition of Private Debt Investor magazine. This week though, there's been encouraging news: Gulf Capital closed its maiden credit fund (albeit after two years on the road). 

For established firms, the task is easier, but by no means simple. Wellington Financial for example hit its hard-cap of $200 million this week, and two other established managers, Highland Capital Management and Germany-based iii-investments, both hit the road with new vehicles. 

Private debt funds are gaining traction in the market, as recent fundraising successes for firms like La Banque Postale Asset Management prove. Established players like GSO Capital Partners, Ares Capital Management and Alcentra continue to both raise capital and build out their teams. 

As an expert panel assembled by Private Debt Investor late last year agreed, there’s a profound shift occurring, both in how debt is sourced but also in how lenders approach the provision of credit. There’s been a return to the analysis of credit fundamentals, and relationships have grown more important. The more esoteric credit instruments that came to typify the pre-Lehman market are largely absent today, although some structures, like CLOs, continue to thrive in markets like the US.

Mapping out and analysing this rapidly changing landscape will be Private Debt Investor’s key challenge. We encourage your feedback, and hope you enjoy the monthly publication and website.

Happy reading,

Oliver Smiddy 

Editor, Private Debt Investor