BlackRock Hires Ex-Hedge Fund Founder Ferrier for Private Credit

  • Ferrier to join as managing director in Singapore in June
  • Money manager expanding private credit as banks pull back

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, hired former hedge fund manager Justin Ferrier as a managing director for Asian private credit investment, according to an e-mailed statement.

Ferrier will start in BlackRock’s Singapore office in June, focusing on mid-market and special-situations investments in the region, according to the statement from BlackRock. Ferrier early this year said he is shutting Myo Capital Advisers’ eight-year-old hedge fund he founded, after a big investor pulled its money.

BlackRock, which manages $4.7 trillion in assets, is expanding its business that provides private loans as tighter regulations have prompted banks to pull back in recent years and left companies starved for cash. Smaller funds such as Ferrier’s Myo Capital Advisers, which sought to tap the same opportunities, struggled to survive as investors have favored bigger managers, allowing them to dominate hedge-fund inflows since the 2008 global financial crisis.

"Banks have been retreating from traditional lending activities following post-crisis regulations," Neeraj Seth, head of Asian credit to whom Ferrier will report at BlackRock, said in the statement. "The shift creates attractive opportunities for private, non-bank lenders like BlackRock."

Across Spectrum

BlackRock is developing the private credit business "across a spectrum of risk, geography and liquidity" to provide investors with diversified sources of return. It is a "high-priority and fast-growing segment" falling under its global fundamental credit division, which employs more than 150 investment staff and manages $137 billion of assets, according to the statement.

At least 979 hedge funds were liquidated last year amid falling investor tolerance of risk and redemptions from under-performing funds, the highest tally since 2009, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. The global industry lost $15.1 billion of assets to net investor withdrawals in the last quarter, the highest capital outflows since the second quarter of 2009, the data provider said.

Myo’s fund returned 24 percent last year and nearly 12 percent on an annualized basis since its April 2008 inception.

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