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15 December 2019

JPMorgan asset management expands footprint into private debt

In October 2019, JPMorgan Asset Management announced the closing of a $1.06 billion special situations fund for investing in stressed, distressed and event-driven situations in North America and Europe.

Bloomberg/Peter Foley

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset management arm is extending a push into the $787 billion private credit market as cash pours into the asset class from yield-hungry investors, reported Bloomberg.

JPMorgan Asset Management announced the appointment of Meg McClellan to a newly created role as Head of Private Credit. McClellan will oversee the firm’s $10 billion in private credit assets, looking after the global special situations as well as infrastructure debt and commercial mortgage loan businesses. The firm has yet to disclose McClennan’s replacement as CFO.

Anton Pil, the Head of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s. Alternative Assets Group said that as the bank grows its private debt business, JPMorgan Asset Management is considering acquisitions that fit into our overall continuum of products and additional hires.

“We’ve been fairly active in hires in that space over the last two years, especially in the distressed and special situations side,” said Pil. The reason behind the effort is the firm’s view that private debt is emerging as a permanent asset class.

Pil said that the firm is avoiding traditional direct lending because the illiquidity premium is insufficient compared to public credit markets currently.

The parent firm is also raising money for a mezzanine fund as part of a strategy to boost its alternatives business.

McClellan’s appointment is the latest in a string of bank moves to capitalise on the booming private credit market, despite some concerns about a slowdown. Last month, Jim Amine stepped down as Chief Executive of Credit Suisse Group’s investment banking and capital markets division to take the role as Head of Private Credit Opportunities.

They join other big names already in private credit including Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Deutsche Bank’s DWS Group.


RELATED STORIES: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Goldman Sachs BNP Paribas Asset Management DWS Group





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