Guggenheim Hires Lazard Capital’s Booth for Loans, Bonds

Guggenheim Partners LLC, the financial services firm that has more than $210 billion in assets under management, hired Andrew Booth from Lazard Capital Markets LLC to head leveraged finance.

Booth, based in New York, will focus on origination, underwriting and syndication of loans and high-yield bonds, according to a statement today from Guggenheim. Prior to Lazard Capital, he worked at Jefferies Group LLC.

“His expertise in building a platform that can provide a full range of underwritten and syndicated leveraged finance products is critical as we continue to drive our investment banking business forward,” Mark Van Lith, head of investment banking at Guggenheim Securities, said in the statement regarding Booth.

Guggenheim, which this year acquired Lazard Capital’s fixed-income business, has been expanding investment banking operations. Lazard Capital was spun out of Lazard Ltd. in 2005. Guggenheim Investments, the company’s investment management and advisory operation, has also added leveraged finance expertise, hiring Tom Stein from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2013.

Guggenheim is seeking to expand in leveraged finance as companies raise unprecedented amounts of high-yield, high-risk debt, fueled by the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at zero for six years. Firms have raised $437.9 billion this year in the U.S. leveraged loan market after issuance surpassed $1 trillion in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. High yield, or junk bond, issuance is approaching $173 billion since the end of December.

Leveraged loans have gained 4.9 percent in the last year, according to the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index.

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