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RBS’s mountain man has just made a switch to the buy-side

Rory McHugh on one of his earlier expeditions

A former Royal Bank of Scotland managing director who quit investment banking to embark on an ambitious campaign to scale Everest for charity has returned to the financial sector in a senior role at an expanding buy-side firm.

Rory McHugh, the former head of alternative finance, specialist lenders and FinTech solutions at RBS, has just joined Ares Management as a managing director focused on structured credit.

McHugh joins the $106bn alternative asset manager at a time when the firm has been hiring for its credit business in Europe. Peter Higgins, a former partner and senior portfolio manager within BlueBay Asset Management’s leveraged finance division, joined in June to start a new liquid credit and high yield business in London. Jason Late, a director and high yield analyst at Deutsche Bank, also joined in September as a managing director within its European credit team.

Large alternative funds are increasingly moving into direct lending to fill the void left by traditional bank lenders. Ares said earlier this week that it had committed $3bn to 67 loan transactions within its U.S. credit fund during the third quarter.

McHugh left RBS in November last year, but spent a number of months consulting with FinTech companies and regrouping after 20 years in investment banking. At the beginning of this year, he started a gruelling training regime to prepare for an expedition to scale Everest.

“I’ve recently been training 19 days out of 20,” he told us in March. “This can mean hitting the hills for a six to ten hour walk with a 30 kilo backpack, staying in the City and going running, or – more often than not – running up and down the stairs in my ten-story apartment block in Clapham with a weight vest on.”

He raised £50k for Child Rescue Nepal, which enabled it to build four new schools in the remote region of Makwanpur in Nepal.

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Photo: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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