Highland moves into Europe

Highland Capital Management has made its first European acquisition with the purchase of ING Capital Management (ICML), a leading CLO manager, from ING Wholesale Banking. ICML is an active European CLO manager and is the investment adviser for the Copernicus Euro CDO I and Copernicus Euro CDO II portfolios.

London-based ICML has about €650m under management and specialises in managing portfolios of senior loans, mezzanine debt, and high-yield bonds.

“ICML is the nucleus of a long-term, strategic commitment to Europe; we will invest significantly in growing its capabilities with local resources,” said Jim Dondero, president of Highland.

Highland, which has US$14bn in assets under management, has played a substantial role in the development of the US loan market for over a decade. Mark Okada, chief investment officer of Highland said Copernicus’ investors would benefit from Highland’s greater CLO management resources, while Highland’s investors gain enhanced access to Europe’s rapidly developing leveraged finance market.

As part of the transaction, ICML has been renamed Highland Capital Management Europe. Stephen Williams will continue his affiliation with the business, in the role of portfolio manager.

Prior to working with ICML, Williams was a partner with New York Life Capital Partners. He had investment responsibilities related to both raising and managing funds focused on private placements, mezzanine debt and buyout-related private equity investments.