Neuberger Berman to add Private Placement credit professionals

Neuberger Berman, a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager, is expanding its fixed income platform with the addition of five highly experienced and industry-recognised professionals dedicated to the broad spectrum of Private Placement credit markets globally.

The firm’s new Private Placement credit team is expected to be fully operational in early 2022. The team will be led by industry veteran Frank LaTorraca, who is joining from Macquarie Investment Management, where he was Co-Head of the asset class. Two additional senior members of the team, Philip Lee and Nicole Tullo, are also joining from Macquarie and bring extensive Private Placements experience. Lori Cuneo will join from JPMorgan where she has spent over 20 years sourcing, structuring, and distributing Private Placements and establishing a leading market position in this sector. 

Cuneo, along with LaTorraca, will focus on client sourcing and portfolio management. Chuck Devereux has joined from T Rowe Price and will lead Private Placement research efforts. The team will be fully integrated with Neuberger Berman’s USD201 billion fixed income platform, leveraging the firm’s broad research, risk and operational resources.

Neuberger Berman is a leader in insurance solutions with more than 200 insurance company clients in more than 30 countries representing USD57 billion of the firm’s USD437 billion AUM. The firm brings insurance clients the full spectrum of fixed income and private market asset classes. Worldwide, the USD900 billion Private Placement asset class has been historically dominated by insurance companies. Neuberger Berman, as an independent investment manager, believes this new team’s long-standing industry relationships and market leadership built over two decades, will benefit clients. 

Neuberger Berman is committed to bringing access to the broad Private Placement marketplace by focusing on corporate credit, structured ABS, credit tenant leases, project finance and infrastructure opportunities from a global issuer universe. The firm provides a broad range of public fixed income asset classes and private fixed income capabilities including private debt, consumer and small business lending, private residential mortgages and European private loans. 

Brad Tank, Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Fixed Income, says: “The addition of Private Placement credit to our global fixed income platform furthers our goal to create the industry’s best, customisable portfolios utilising both public and private markets. We look forward to the contributions of our future teammates.” 

Private Placements are most often long-term, fixed-rate issuances and have generally experienced more favourable recovery rates relative to public bonds. The private nature of this investment class can also offer a spread premium versus public credit and structural benefits including covenants and call protection that facilitates downside protection and naturally provides for asset/liability matching. Each investment opportunity will be highly tailored relative to the credit profile and sector in terms of tenor and covenant structure. 

Jason Pratt, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Insurance Fixed Income, says: “Demand for the asset class continues to grow in light of persistently low yield opportunities and a desire from insurers and other institutional investors to gain high quality credit exposure and diversification with greater total return characteristics. In addition to insurance companies, we believe there will be broader demand from the institutional market.”

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