Pine River Said to Hire Ex-Barclays’s Lee for Trades

Pine River Capital Management LP, the $13.9 billion hedge-fund firm that’s diversifying beyond residential mortgage bonds, hired James Lee from Barclays Plc to help it buy assets from banks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lee’s appointment is part of Pine River’s effort to acquire bank assets in Europe and the U.S. as lenders comply with regulations including the Volcker Rule and Basel III, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Lee was formerly a director of counterparty risk trading and portfolio management at Barclays, the person said.

Pine River, which focused on mortgage investing after the 2008 financial crisis and in 2012 managed one of the most profitable U.S. hedge funds, has increased stock investments in an effort to diversify. The firm has also built an energy-related equities team of six based in its Austin office.

Patrick Clifford, a spokesman for Pine River with Abernathy MacGregor Group Inc., declined to comment on the appointment.

Pine River’s bank strategy mainly involves buying securitized pools of loans from financial institutions, said the person. The size of each transaction typically ranges from $50 million to $100 million.

Mezzanine Loans

The firm bought a mezzanine tranche of a pool of leveraged loans from a U.S. bank at the end of last year, the person familiar with the matter said. In Europe, Pine River is searching for transactions with institutions including small and regional banks particularly in the region’s peripheral countries, according to the person.

Lee joined this month as a strategist in Pine River’s structured credit team, which accounts for about 10 percent of the firm’s $9.5 billion in hedge-fund assets and is led by co-heads Gaurav Tejwani and Abhishek Bhutra. At Barclays, Lee was previously global head of structured credit trading. Before that, he ran structured trading in the Americas at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Brian Taylor, who spent 14 years at hedge fund EBF & Associates, founded Pine River in 2002, naming it after a Minnesota town close to where he has a lake house.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Bit in New York at kbit@bloomberg.net

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