RBS Distressed-Debt Trader Weiss Said to Join Candlewood

Jon Weiss, the former global head of a special situations group at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, is joining Candlewood Investment Group LP as hedge funds pick off debt traders from Wall Street.

Weiss will join the $2.9 billion credit firm as a managing partner and money manager later this year, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Janet Miller, general counsel and chief operating officer at New York-based Candlewood, declined to comment.

Weiss’s migration comes as top bankers and traders have exited the biggest banks for more lucrative jobs at hedge funds, as regulation has intensified following the 2008 financial crisis and banks cut compensation. RBS, Britain’s largest state-owned lender, is winding down its distressed debt unit and selling off its riskier investments as it shrinks its U.S. investment bank.

Weiss joined RBS from Bear Stearns Cos., where he’d worked since 1999, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records. He was promoted to head the special situations group in 2012. A phone message left for Weiss at RBS wasn’t immediately returned.

Michael Lau started Candlewood in 2005 with backing from Credit Suisse Group AG. In October 2010, Candlewood completed its spin out from the Swiss bank. A year ago, the firm hired Phil DeSantis, Credit Suisse’s former co-head of global credit products, as a managing partner responsible for operational management with a focus on investment origination.

Distressed hedge funds have trounced most peers within the $2.7 trillion industry with a 7 percent gain this year, compared with 2.5 percent for managers across strategies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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