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Structurers tempted by buy-side perks amid CLO bonanza
May 2021 | Issue 234
Sayed Kadiri headshot
Sayed Kadiri
Do you have experience structuring CLOs? If the answer is yes, then your skills are in demand, with asset managers keen to add CLO capital markets specialists amid the onslaught of CLO transactions that have taken place this year.
Global CLO volumes have hit $176.6 billion in 2021, as Creditflux goes to press. In contrast, there was $55.0 billion of issuance at the same point in 2020 and $69.4 billion in 2019.
Creditflux has reported on several CLO bankers changing jobs in the past two weeks.

Morgan Stanley lost US CLO structurers Adam Schwartz, who is believed to be joining a brokerage, and Risa Itoshima to a buy side role. Goldman Sachs’s Cyrus Moshiri is joining CLO issuer New Mountain Capital and JP Morgan US CLO structurer Oswald Espinoza is set to join KKR.
“There’s been a lot of hiring, expanding resources for buy side analysts in CLOs”
Lisa Quackenbush, Managing director | Sage Search Advisors
Apollo Global Management has swooped for two CLO structurers, adding Barclays’ Cindy Wu and Bank of America’s Andrew Sandor to its structured credit team.

Investment banks also face depleted CLO syndication desks: Deutsche Bank parted ways with its US CLO syndicate head David Ryan and Natixis lost structured credit syndicate head Theo Fleishman to Nearwater Capital.
According to a CLO investor, the events of the past 12 months have led to the sell side exodus. “A lot of bankers stuck with it last year as there weren’t many firms hiring. But Q1 has been chaotic and bonus packages were not strong, which has led many structurers to switch to the buy side where the work-life balance is perceived to be better.”
On the buy side, CLO issuers and investors have also been busy this year with a full pipeline of deals across new issues, resets and refinancings.
However, a lack of stan­dard­ised documentation is adding to the time it takes for investors to analyse each deal.
“It creates a bottleneck,” says Carlyle Group’s co-head of liquid credit Lauren Basmadjian. “I think the CLO market could benefit from more standardised documentation — it could ultimately drive down spreads and benefit the equity. It would also make CLO transactions a lot more efficient.”
Sources say that investment banks are conducting interviews to replace lost headcount in the knowledge that CLO volumes will be elevated for some time.

For asset managers, the focus is on growth. “There has been a lot of hiring, expanding resources for buy side analysts in CLOs,” says Lisa Quackenbush, managing director at Greenwich-based recruitment firm Sage Search Advisors.
Capital Four is among the managers expanding into US CLO management this year — it hired MidOcean Credit Partners’ Jim Wiant to lead this initiative.
Diversity is also becoming a primary consideration for asset managers as they set about recruiting, with about 80% of the searches conducted by Sage focused on this, according to Quackenbush.
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Global credit funds & CLO's
May 2021 | Issue 234
Published in London & New York.
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