Antares Capital’s hire of Barings executive hints at fundraising plans

Antares last year secured $3bn for Antares Senior Loan Fund, the Chicago firm’s first major, broadly-marketed institutional vehicle.

Private debt investor Antares Capital hired Jeffrey Stammen as managing director and head of investor coverage in asset management, a move that hints at forthcoming fundraising.

Stammen joins Antares from Barings, an investment management affiliate of MassMutual, where he was regional sales head, North America institutional business development.

Previously, Stammen was with Babson Capital, working in a similar role – Babson and its subsidiaries in 2016 merged under the Barings brand. He was also an executive with Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

In the new job, Stammen will lead efforts to develop relationships and raise capital as part of Antares’ asset management unit, the firm said in a statement. The idea is to bring more pension systems, insurers, sovereign wealth funds and other institutions into strategies like the 2019-vintage Antares Senior Loan Fund.

That fund, wrapped up last year at $3 billion, double its $1.5 billion target, was the Chicago firm’s first major, broadly-marketed institutional vehicle. Prior to it, Antares, owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (and before CPPIB, GE Capital) mostly raised third-party money only for CLO pools and separately-managed accounts.

Upon the fund’s closing, Antares CEO David Brackett signaled an interest in pursuing comparable initiatives. This activity will fall under the asset management platform, which has seen significant growth in recent years, especially since the 2016 hire of senior managing director Vivek Mathew to focus on third-party assets.

As of March, the asset management unit, led by Mathew, oversaw $21 billion in assets, consisting of CLOs, funds and SMAs, Antares told Buyouts. With the hire of Stammen, that number could expand further.

Founded in 1996 by Heller Financial veterans, Antares provides credit solutions to private equity-backed mid-market companies. It reports last year issuing $14 billion in financing commitments to borrowers, mostly through first-lien revolvers, term loans and delayed-draw term loans, second-lien term loans, unitranche facilities and equity investments.

CPPIB acquired Antares in 2015 from GE Capital for $12 billion to increase its exposure to mid-market lending. It is not known if the pension system committed to Antares Senior Loan Fund or if it will participate in fresh offerings. Antares declined to comment.

Despite the promise of more credit opportunities in the post-pandemic recovery, private debt fundraising has been slow. Just over $39 billion was collected globally in Q1 2021, Private Debt Investor reported, the lowest first-quarter haul since 2016.