TCW Group is getting back into investing in energy projects and plans to raise new private equity funds to make equity and debt investments in the sector.
The company has formed the TCW Power Group, said spokesman Doug Morris, and has made two personnel hires. Brian Daly will become managing director and head of the new group and Bill Cavers, a senior vice president.
TCW President and CEO David Lippman has put a major focus on expanding the firm's alternatives capabilities, and its old energy team had been a major profit center.
TCW Power Group will focus on making middle-market mezzanine, equity and debt investments in projects and companies in the power generation, renewables, transmission, oil and natural gas, and energy-related industrial and infrastructure sectors, a TCW news release said.
Mr. Morris would not disclose funding, but company sources said they investments would be made through a series of private equity funds. It is not clear how much money TCW will be attempting to raise from limited partners.
Raising private equity energy funds had been a significant part of TCW's business until early 2011 when R. Blair Thomas, the head of the firm's energy and infrastructure group, left with his investment team to form a new company, EIG Global Energy Partners.
Mr. Thomas had been at odds with TCW management, and after he left was involved in an arbitration attempting to block a buyout of the money manager by employees and private equity firm The Carlyle Group. One of Mr. Thomas contention's was that TCW, with Carlyle's backing, would attempt to build their own energy business and attempt to squash his firm.
An agreement among the three parties in January 2013 resulted in Mr. Thomas dropping his opposition to the buyout and in exchange, TCW reduced the amount it would receive in revenue sharing.
Mr. Daly was head of the energy finance group at Babson Capital. He had been one of the top portfolio managers of Mr. Thomas team at TCW, serving as a managing director. Mr. Daly left in 2008.
Mr. Cavers was most recently at GE Energy Financial Services; his title couldn't be learned by press time. He also previously served as a lead credit officer at the Department of Energy.
Officials at Babson and GE Energy Financial couldn't be reached by press time.