Centerbridge Beefs Up Lantern Asset Management Team

Dec 7 2010 | 10:11am ET

New York-based Centerbridge Capital Partners has named L. Andy Mitchell president of Lantern Asset Management, a three-month-old investment firm specializing in timeshare resorts and commercial real estate.

Lantern was created in September 2010 to manage the assets of Resort Finance America (RFA). RFA was formed after Centerbridge Partners acquired the resort finance business of GMAC Commercial Finance (a subsidiary of Ally Financial). RFA principally consists of a $1.0 billion portfolio of loans related to timeshare resorts throughout North America.

Mitchell, the former managing director and head of the Global Special Assets Group at Ally, will also serve as chief risk officer for RFA.

Mitchell joins William Phillips, president of RFA and Lantern’s senior managing director and head of resort operations. Phillips was formerly a corporate officer at Marriott International.

Lantern has also made several other senior-level hires: Chris Halpin, the former controller at Highland Capital Management, has been named Lantern chief accounting officer and CFO of RFA. Clifton M. Dugas, formerly a partner at the K&L Gates law firm has been appointed managing director and chief legal officer. Joseph Glica, also from GMAC, becomes a Lantern managing director and senior workout officer. Robert Rahr and Thomas K. McInerney, both from Ally's Special Assets Group and Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, have joined Lantern as directors.

Said Phillips, "After nearly 20 years of double-digit annual growth, the global timeshare industry experienced sharp sales declines in 2008 and 2009, but appears to have stabilized in 2010. A new operating model has emerged with a much greater focus on capital efficiency, prudent credit underwriting, and operational effectiveness."

Centerbridge Partners has approximately $12 billion in capital under management. The firm was established in 2005 and invests across multiple strategies, including private equity and credit investments.


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