Mariner Investment Group Closes $502 Million CLO and Launches CLO Business

Mariner Investment Group, the global alternative asset manager, today announced the closing of a $502 million collateralized loan obligation (CLO). This is the first such transaction by Mariner’s newly created CLO business. This past November Mariner hired the 13-member corporate credit team from Mariner’s strategic partner, ORIX USA, to lead the effort. The business is co-led by David Martin and Erik Gunnerson, who were co-heads of the leveraged loan and high-yield bond business at ORIX USA since 2009. The proven investment team enhances Mariner’s ability to capture what it believes is an ongoing opportunity in the CLO market and further deepens the ties between Mariner and ORIX USA. ORIX USA acquired a majority interest in Mariner in 2010.

“We were pleased to see strong investor interest in this offering, which reflects the strong capabilities of our new CLO team and favorable market dynamics for these types of investments,” said Basil Williams, Mariner’s co-CIO. “We believe that CLOs represent a compelling investment opportunity in a market where senior lending opportunities will continue to offer superior risk-adjusted returns, and the floating-rate nature of these products acts as an effective hedge if interest rates rise.”

“Mariner’s alliance with ORIX USA continues to enhance our ability to provide institutional clients with a broad array of high quality investment options,” said Bracebridge Young, Mariner’s Chief Executive Officer. “The ORIX USA team enables us to enter the market with a turnkey CLO business of the first order, and we are excited to welcome such an established, high-performing team to Mariner.”

The new Mariner CLO investment team brings more than 100 years of combined investment expertise. Martin joins Mariner with 16 years of relevant investment experience. Prior to joining ORIX in 2009, Martin was a senior VP at Imperial Capital, LLC, where he worked in loan trading desk analytics.  Prior to that, Martin was a portfolio manager at Highland Capital Management, L.P.  While at Highland, Martin managed a portfolio consisting primarily of leveraged loans and high yield securities.  Before joining Highland, Martin was a vice president at Newcastle Partners, a Dallas-based hedge fund, and prior to Newcastle, Martin worked at Imperial Capital, LLC, both on their trading desk and in their investment banking group.

Gunnerson joins Mariner with over 12 years of financial services experience.   Prior to joining ORIX in 2009, he was a portfolio manager covering financial institutions at Highland Capital Management, L.P., and made investments across the capital structure. Previously, he worked as an Associate for Citigroup in the Global Capital Markets division. Before joining Citigroup, Gunnerson worked at Deutsche Bank Securities in their investment banking group covering the chemicals industry.