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Hedge fund's direct lending portfolio manager departs after two years

A well-trodden route to the buy-side

The former chief executive officer of debt investor Palio Capital Partners, which was disbanded after its three founding partners left for Chenavari Investment Managers, has now left the credit-focused hedge fund.

Mike Henebery signed up to Chenavari in February last year as a partner, along with fellow Palio partners Jerry Wilson and Darren Gibson, to join the firm’s mid-market direct lending function. They were tasked with developing new deals with successful SME firms that are struggling to gain credit from mainstream banks as most tighten their lending criteria amid stricter capital rules.

At the time, Palio had achieved commitments of £100m for an IPO led by the firm’s principals. Chenavari was the largest institutional investor in the proposed IPO and brought the management team on board in February last year.

Since March 2013, Henebery was involved in launching the fund’s UK Private Credit SME lending business, which targets “fast-growing” companies by offering debt capital. One of the more notable deals was a £20m refinancing of gaming company, Spectre Leisure, based in Preston, UK. Chenavari was reported to be targeting $1bn in investment through its direct lending funds.

Less than two years later, however, Henebery has left the firm, according to filings on the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register. His LinkedIn profile says that he is “seeking a new challenge”.

Jerry Wilson, who was chief investment officer at Palio, and Darren Gibson, its COO, remain at Chenavari, however.

Henebery has an ACA and started his career as an accountant at Arthur Anderson in the 1980s. He moved into private equity in 1995, as investment director at Montagu Private Equity, and was MD at Gresham LLP from 2000-2009 before setting up Palio Capital Partners later that year.

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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