October 26, 2015 / 8:10 PM / 4 years ago

Hedge fund Och-Ziff opens Houston office to focus on energy bets

BOSTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Och-Ziff Capital Management , one of a handful of investment firms looking to cash in on a rout in the energy markets, has opened a Houston office, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The person, who asked not to be named, said Mark Bisso, who joined Och-Ziff earlier this year after 11 years at ArcLight Capital Partners, has moved to Texas to open the new office. Jonathan Linker, previously a managing director with private equity firm First Reserve Corporation, has joined the firm as a senior advisor and will work in the Houston office, the person said.

Bisso will be working closely with Rick Lyon, an executive managing director and head of OZ Energy, the person said.

Och-Ziff has an 11 person team focusing on North American middle market energy investment opportunities.

Och-Ziff manages $44 billion in assets and is one of a handful of prominent companies looking to cash in on a rapid drop in oil prices which have unsettled the sector. In February, Daniel Och, the company’s chief executive officer, told investors about possibly raising cash in the energy sector.

Since then, Apollo Global Management and Carlyle have both been in the market aiming to raise billions of dollar funds targeting energy and mining companies.

Och-Ziff has been a favorite with pension funds and foreign governments. In May, the State Investment Council in New Jersey proposed to commit up to $900 million to existing Och-Ziff separate accounts, including $100 million to OZ Energy Partners. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by David Gregorio)

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