Blue Elephant Capital Management, an investment firm focused on buying debt created by online lending platforms, hired former UBS Group AG portfolio manager Kent MacWilliams to be director of credit.
MacWilliams, 34, started Monday and will help Irvington, New York-based Blue Elephant hone its investment strategy, according to Chief Investment Officer Brian Weinstein. Until last year, MacWilliams worked at UBS, where he jointly managed more than $800 million in structured products and whole loans for the Swiss National Bank.
“Kent will help in two major ways,” Weinstein said in an e-mail. “He’ll help vet platforms when we look at their credit models to determine if we should partner with them. On the more micro side, he will help us build internal models around all the loan data to help us determine our view on the ideal places to lend.”
Prosper Marketplace Inc., LendingClub Corp. and other U.S. websites are enabling investors to directly fund borrowers including consumers looking to pay down credit-card debt or finance a big purchase. Often called peer-to-peer lenders, the platforms have become an increasingly popular source of investments for institutions seeking attractive returns at a time of historically low interest rates.
Blue Elephant was started in 2013 by former Nomura Holdings Inc. traders and holds about $100 million in loans from Prosper and other platforms. Weinstein joined the company last year from BlackRock Inc.