Alfred C Eckert III, Russ D Gerson and Oliver W Reeves have launched a new asset management firm, Phoenix Star Capital.
The new firm will pursue investment opportunities across the leveraged loan and high yield bond markets.
The firm’s founding partners – Eckert and Gerson – have enjoyed a personal and professional relationship for many years. Reeves was a key member of Gerson’s investment team in his sovereign advisory business.
The firm launches with USD100m of capital and will initially structure, manage and invest in CLOs and BDCs. Phoenix Star intends to expand its operations by establishing a distressed debt trading fund and a control oriented distressed debt fund. In addition, Phoenix Star will provide consulting and corporate development services to the financial services industry.
Eckert (pictured) will lead Phoenix Star Capital and be its chief investment officer. He has 40 years of experience in the finance industry and is a recognised expert and leader in the structured finance, LBO and the financial distressed arenas. Previously, he was the chairman and chief executive officer of GSC and its predecessor Greenwich Street Capital Partners. Prior to GSC, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs and formed its first LBO fund in 1984 and its initial control-oriented distressed fund in 1988.
Gerson will lead development and investor relations for Phoenix Star Capital. During his 30-year career in the financial services industry, he has risen to become one of the most influential corporate development professionals in the US. His abilities to source talent and raise capital were publicly recognised when he was chosen to lead the transition planning and presidential appointment process for Senator John McCain. He was also a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential transition planning group.
Reeves will work closely with Eckert to identify and analyse investment opportunities as a member of Phoenix Star’s investment committee. Prior to joining Gerson in 2010, Reeves received his MBA from Columbia Business School where he completed the highly- selective Value Investing Program. Prior to Columbia Business School, Reeves was an investment analyst at Coliseum Capital Management, where he developed experience investing across the capital structure.
"Our immediate focus is to structure and market our first CLO in the early part of 2014 followed by additional CLOs and the purchase of equity in existing CLOs and BDCs,” says Eckert.
"Phoenix Star’s vision is to be at the forefront of the complex credit, investment and financial industry, combining the talents of our founders with a ‘best in class’ investment and operations team,” says Gerson.