Good Times Coming for Distressed-Asset Managers

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Bankers with experience in distressed assets, and a taste for riskier sectors, could have a host of opportunities in the next few years.

The need to manage and liquidate distressed portfolios is growing, and specialists will be in one of the most active sectors of the 2010s. For example, Peter Briger, co-chairman of Fortress Investment Group, recently told the New York Times that the next five years will see more asset liquidations than the past 100.

Recruiters expect hiring in the sector to follow a recent pattern, where independent asset managers raid Wall Street banks for talent. MatlinPatterson, a New York-based private equity fund that specializes in distressed assets, just poached a credit investment team from KeyCorp, led by Craig Ruch. Reportedly, the team will focus on corporate and municipal debt.

One recruiter expects a battle for talent between Wall Street firms and more opportunistic firms like hedge funds and asset managers. In many cases, the banks are sitting on piles of deteriorating assets, and need people to manage and liquidate their positions.

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