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The Private Debt and Credit Alternatives business will comprise real asset debt, structured and corporate credit, specialty finance and impact lending. It will initially oversee $30bn in assets under management and will be home to more than 100 investment professionals.

The unit will be led by Michelle Russell-Dowe and Stephan Ruoff, who will serve as co-heads and report to Georg Wunderlin, global head of private assets.

Based in the US, Russell-Dowe and Ruoff will maintain their responsibilities as global head of securities product and asset-based finance, and global head of insurance-linked securities, respectively.

Global alternatives industry poised for slower growth as macro headwinds bite

Strategies under the new unit will merge into a shared platform to offer clients a broader range of accessible products, as well as share macroeconomic views and strengthen the company’s distribution and risk management.

Russell-Dowe and Ruoff said: “Investors are having to navigate an ever-evolving, often volatile market environment and they need dynamic and flexible solutions to navigate market conditions that are unfamiliar to many. We are witnessing structural changes that have resulted in higher interest rates.

“With this backdrop, there is a heightened focus on debt and credit. The creation of our platform allows us to provide clients with flexible solutions at a critical time, while enhancing our perspective and improving our ability to manage change as we focus on delivering innovative dynamic solutions, which will meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“The combined expertise and streamlined approach will create a process and perspective that allows greater alignment to our clients’ needs and provides our partners with a broader array of investment options. Combining these crucial investment areas allows for better return profiles and a flexible approach to navigate these rapidly changing opportunity sets alongside core and strategic attractive investments.”

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Georg Wunderlin, global head of private assets at Schroders Capital, added: “Schroders Capital has evolved to what is now a global and trusted solutions provider in private markets for our clients. We only see the momentum behind its growth continuing, with a clear appetite from investors to capture the diversification and returns that private assets can offer.

“Global macroeconomics combined with the credit cycle are providing strong tailwinds particularly for debt and credit strategies. The private debt total market is estimated at ~$23trn, but only ~6% is currently served by private credit managers, leaving plenty of room for growth.

“We are excited to bring together our alternative credit businesses into one leading platform at such an opportune time. This will allow us to provide a wide range of flexible financing solutions to the market and a rich set of investment opportunities to our clients.”

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