ICG Hires Ex-Blackstone Manager Sal Gentile for U.S. Debt Group

Sal Gentile, a co-founder of Blackstone Group LP’s debt business, has joined Intermediate Capital Group Plc to expand its U.S. credit operation.

Gentile, who is based in New York, is head of North America at ICG, according to Helen Barnes, associate director of marketing and communications at ICG in London. He reports to Chief Executive Officer Christophe Evain, according to a person with knowledge of the hire who asked not to be identified because details haven’t been announced publicly.

ICG is expanding its debt business as the JPMorgan Leveraged Institutional Loan Index has returned 9.43 percent this year. The firm has invested alongside third-party investors in Europe and Asia in mezzanine funds, collateralized loan obligations and separately managed accounts, and will pursue a similar strategy in the U.S., according to the person.

The company will invest using a senior debt strategy as well as an enhanced-return strategy, the person said. The senior-debt focus, which may invest in both large and middle-market loans, may include collateralized loan obligations and direct lending, the person said. The enhanced-return strategy would concentrate on the middle market.

ICG, founded in 1989, specializes in mid-market transactions, typically ranging from 250 million euros to 1 billion euros of enterprise value, it said on its website. It oversaw 12.1 billion euros ($15.7 billion) as of Sept. 30, according to a Nov. 21 earnings report.

The firm may start its first U.S. mezzanine fund in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, according to a Nov. 21 earnings presentation.

CLO Purchase

ICG oversees 10 CLOs in Europe, Barnes said. It purchased a 300 million-euro CLO from Resource America Inc. two years ago, the Philadelphia-based company said in a December 2010 news release.

CLOs, a type of collateralized debt obligation that pool high-yield, high-risk loans and slice them into securities of varying risk and return, were the largest buyer of loans in the U.S. with 54 percent market share, according to the third quarter Loan Syndications and Trading Association’s Secondary Trading & Settlement Study.

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