Private debt funds are the new top escape route from banking

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If you're looking to get out of a banking job, you have a few options. There's private equity, there's corporate development, and then there's another less-talked-about yet popular landing spot for bankers looking to shake things up – private debt, whose assets under management surpassed $600bn around this time last year.

Ex-Citigroup managing director Jay Huang has just joined CIFC, a $16bn private debt manager, as an MD, senior portfolio manager and the head of structured products investments in New York. Most recently, Huang was an MD and the global head of collateralized loan obligation, collateralized debt obligation and distressed structured investment vehicle trading within the structured credit division at Citi.

CIFC is hiring - although not always from banks. It also recently recruited ex-banker/Citadel CFO John DiRocco and ex-Balyasny executive Marc Eldridge, both most recently from Reef Road Capital, and ex-Anandar Capital high-yield bond specialist Jordan Teramo, who joined in June. DiRocco joined in August, while Eldridge joined in December.

They're just the latest in a long list of recent moves into the surging private debt sector in the past year. For example, ex-J.P. Morgan and Citi analyst Zachary Bader joined institutional alternative asset management firm Archview Investment Group as a distressed credit analyst in October. Former Merrill Lynch analyst and CIBC World Markets MD Brian Gerson joined $20bn alternative asset manager FS Investments as the head of private credit in May. Former Goldman Sachs and then Citi investment banker Abhi Chandrasekhara became a senior associate on the investment team at private debt and PE firm Advantage Capital earlier in 2017. Similarly, ex-Citi analyst Francesco Cima is a valuation associate and the head of equity deployment at Avant Capital Partners, where he works full-time while studying to get an MS from NYU.

The trend is likely to continue. 136 private debt vehicles raised a combined $107bn in 2017, setting a record, according to Preqin. In 2018, they're going to need additional staff.

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