Exclusive: CarVal Investors President John Brice leaves firm

  • Not clear why Brice left
  • Three people have moved into leadership role
  • Brice named president in 2008

John Brice, president and chief investment officer of CarVal Investors, left the firm, Ann Folkman, managing director at CarVal, confirmed to Buyouts Tuesday.

Why Brice left is unclear. His last day was June 20, Folkman said. He joined CarVal Investors in 1998 and became president in 2008.

During his leadership career at CarVal Investors, Brice was chairman of the investment committee and was responsible for all portfolio and global operations, according to an investment report from Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association.

A source said Brice’s departure, along with the recent stepping down of Chief Financial Officer Peter Vorbrich, triggered a key-man provision in the firm’s latest credit fund. It’s not clear whether the key-man situation has been resolved. Folkman declined to comment on terms of the fund.

Vorbrich stepped down from his CFO role last year as part of a planned succession, Folkman said. He moved into an executive adviser role as of January 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Brice’s responsibilities have been assumed by Jody Gunderson, Lucas Detor and James Ganley, who were appointed by the CarVal board to CarVal Investors’ executive team, effective immediately, Folkman said.

In this role, the three will lead the firm with responsibilities for strategic direction, investments and operations globally, Folkman said.

Gunderson, Detor and Ganley previously worked as executive managing directors.

Minneapolis-based CarVal, a unit of agribusiness giant Cargill, closed CVI Credit Value Fund III in July 2015 on $3 billion, beating its $2 billion target. The fund focuses on investments in “undervalued opportunities” with a focus on whole loan portfolios resulting from the deleveraging of European banks, Buyouts previously reported.

Fund III is weighted toward loan portfolios, but balanced with corporate securities and structured credit “as the recovery ends and the dislocation of the next market cycle begins,” Brice said in a statement when the fund closed.

Cargill formed CarVal Investors in 1987 as its financial trading arm, according to the investment report from Fresno County. In 2006, CarVal Investors became an independent subsidiary, the report said.

CarVal raised its first fund open to outside investors, called Global Value Fund, in 2007 with $5.4 billion of commitments, the report said.

The firm launched its first Credit Value Fund in 2010 and its second fund in 2012. CVI Fund I was generating a 21.3 percent internal rate of return as of September 2015, according to performance information from Florida State Board of Administration. CVI Fund II was producing a 9.9 percent IRR as of the same date.

Action Item: The Florida SBA report on CarVal Investors: http://bit.ly/1mMJCS5

Anne Sateren (l) and Matt Burow snowshoe past a bicycle covered with snow next to Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Photo courtesy Reuters/Eric Miller