Richard Furst was named the first CIO at Avenue Capital Group, the distressed-debt firm co-founded by CEO Marc Lasry, amid speculation that Mr. Lasry will be nominated as U.S. ambassador to France.
In his new post, Mr. Furst will oversee investment strategies for the firm globally, according to an e-mail to clients sent by Sonia Gardner, Avenue's president and cofounder. Ms. Gardner didn't mention Mr. Lasry in the letter, saying only she couldn't comment on “media speculation.”
Todd Fogarty, a spokesman for Avenue Capital at Kekst & Co., declined to comment.
Former President Bill Clinton told guests at a fundraising event that Mr. Lasry will be nominated by President Barack Obama to be ambassador to France, according to a published report last week.
While Mr. Lasry provided investment oversight of the firm's strategies for the past few years, the CIO position is new, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the firm is private.
Mr. Furst, a senior portfolio manager of Avenue's Europe strategy, will continue to dedicate his time predominantly to leading those investments, according to the letter sent by Ms. Gardner. In his new role, Mr. Furst will spend a portion of his time providing “high-level investment oversight globally,” according to the letter.
Avenue, which had $11.7 billion in assets under management as of Feb. 28, invests in distressed and undervalued debt and equity globally. The firm in July raised $2.8 billion for its second European special-situations fund.