June 6, 2018 / 7:41 PM / 10 months ago

MOVES- Natixis names Gilbert head of US CLO banking

NEW YORK, June 6 (LPC) - Natixis has named Chris Gilbert head of US Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO) banking and David Williams head of US global structured credit solutions capital markets as investors look for yield as rates rise, putting issuance of the funds on pace for a record year.

Gilbert, who reports to Alex Zilberman, global head of CLOs, is responsible for managing the CLO banking team, overseeing deal execution and developing client relationships, according to a company spokesperson.

Williams, who reports to Michael Sierko, head of global structured credit solutions, Americas, will continue to manage the US syndicate team while working closely with the structured finance banking teams on origination and business development, the spokesperson said.

“We’re very optimistic about our strategic direction,” Sierko said. “Natixis has been a long-time leader in the CLO, middle market finance and structured credit solutions business, largely driven by the strong relationships we’ve been able to foster and maintain, and the quality executives who have been pivotal to our success.”

There has been more than US$56bn of US CLOs issued this year, up 42% from the same period in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters LPC Collateral data. Wells Fargo is calling for a historic US$150bn of volume this year, and issuance through the end of May was already 14% ahead of 2014’s record-setting pace.

Investors are turning to the US$532bn US CLO market to take advantage of floating-rate assets that benefit from a rising-rate environment. The funds’ debt tranches typically pay holders a set coupon plus Libor, which increases as rates rise leading to higher distributions. The Federal Reserve has hiked rates six times since December 2015.

Natixis ranked fifth this year in the US CLO arranger league table through the end of May with 9% market share, according to the data. Morgan Stanley was first with a 17% share.

The ranking includes new-issue broadly syndicated and middle-market CLOs; it does not include refinancings or resets.

Natixis has arranged CLOs this year for investment managers including Fortress Investment Group and MJX Asset Management, according to LPC Collateral data.

The Natixis appointments follow the departure of Mike Hopson and Lorraine Medvecky who joined Barclays to set up a new middle-market CLO platform, LPC previously reported.

Gilbert joined Natixis in 2005 as a CLO structurer and has experience across both the middle market and broadly syndicated sectors, the spokesperson said. Williams has been with the bank since October 2006 and has focused on origination and syndication of structured finance products.

The bank has made a number of additional moves in the last month, including announcing the promotion of Kevin Alexander to deputy chief executive officer of Natixis corporate and investment banking, Americas. He has previously served as head of investment banking and global markets, Americas, as well as global head of the global structured credit and solutions team.

Natixis also announced last month that it hired Michael Moravec, the former head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa leveraged finance at Barclays, as head of investment banking, Americas. (Reporting by Kristen Haunss; Editing By Michelle Sierra and Jon Methven)

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