GoldenTree Asset Management LP has been bulking up this year, luring talented marketers and portfolio managers from other money managers, part of a campaign to capitalize on institutional investor appetite for alternative credit strategies.
August, traditionally the time for long summer vacations, is usually is written off as a bad time to try to recruit staff. But GoldenTree managed to snag four senior executives in a two-week period last month.
On the investment side, Said Saffari joined New York-based GoldenTree as partner and portfolio manager, part of an expansion of the firm's relative-value emerging market credit capabilities.
Mr. Saffari had been a senior portfolio manager at ICE Canyon LLC, where he was primarily responsible for the financials, industrials, commodities, and oil and gas sectors.
Three senior marketing executives with institutional pedigrees were brought in specifically to increase GoldenTree's institutional assets under management, said Thomas P. Humphrey, partner and head of business development.
About 78% of the $18 billion GoldenTree managed as of Aug. 31 was from institutional investors, based primarily in the U.S. and Europe. GoldenTree has brought in a number of new clients in 2013 from Asia and the Middle East, said Robert Matza, partner and GoldenTree's president. Mr. Matza declined to name any of the firm's new investors.
James Clarke was named managing director, business development and now oversees GTAM's large institutional investors and consultant relations. Mr. Clarke's most recent position was senior vice president, investor relations, at hedge fund manager Paulson & Co. Inc., where he covered large institutional investors in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Previously, he spent 12 years at bond powerhouse Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC as senior vice president and head of public plan new business development.
Brian Marshall joined as a managing director in the business development group. Mr. Marshall joined GTAM from the structured product unit of capital markets specialist Barclays Capital PLC, where he had been GoldenTree's relationship manager for five years. His background includes specialized expertise in credit and mortgage strategies.
Jenna Boyle also joined GoldenTree as a director, focused on marketing the firm's structured products to institutions investors and high-net-worth platforms. She was vice president of marketing and investor relations at Greywolf Capital Management LP.
The four new employees bring the firm's total headcount to nearly 200, up from 185 at the beginning of 2013, Mr. Matza said.
Other fresh faces joined the firm in positions ranging from the investment team to administering assets managed in credit hedge funds, a long-only high-yield strategy, and opportunistic funds that use a hybrid private equity-hedge fund structure with lockups typically between two and four years.
In addition to the infusion of fresh blood, GoldenTree is moving Cee Sarabi, a partner and portfolio manager in the New York structured products group, to the firm's London office in September. Mr. Sarabi will lead GTAM's structured product business in Europe.
“We continue to see attractive opportunities in the European structured markets across a variety of asset classes, which makes Cee's relocation to London the right move at the right time,” said Joseph Naggar, partner, senior portfolio manager and head of structured products, in an Aug. 20 GTAM news release.
“We've hired some senior people this year and are moving Cee to London in line with our 2013 business plan, which is focused on increasing our institutional investor client base,” Mr. Matza said. “The investment market opportunities we see going forward are strong and based on our pipeline, I expect we will see growth in our institutional base by the end of this year,” he added.
With the exception of a steep asset decline suffered by credit managers generally in 2008 after the financial crisis, GoldenTree's growth trajectory has pointed steadily upward. The firm was launched in 2000 with $750 million. Since a 25% decline in assets to $10.1 billion at the end of 2008, assets have burgeoned $7.9 billion, or 78%, to $18 billion in the roughly 4.5 years ended Aug. 31.