Newly Launched Varden Pacific Sees Gold In Corporate Debt

Jun 14 2011 | 2:23pm ET

Varden Pacific, a San Francisco-based hedge fund launched in April by four Wall Street vets, will focus on niche opportunities and residual dislocations in structured credit—specifically, corporate-backed structured credit.

It may be an esoteric market niche, but it's one familiar to the new firm's founders:

“The professionals we’ve put together for our investment team all have 10-plus years of structured credit background, mainly with Wall Street firms,” Varden Pacific co-founder Brad Scelfo told FINalternatives.

Scelfo, whose own background includes stints structuring and marketing credit assets at Credit Suisse and Barclays, has joined forces with Shawn Stoval, former regional head of client trading for Morgan Stanley’s structured credit group; Dennis Lin, former global head of USD interest rate swaps trading for Credit Suisse; and Chris Slattery, former manager of BofA’s Principal Finance Group’s investments in structured credit assets.

Varden Pacific’s mandate allows it to invest in a wide range of structures, says Scelfo, as the assets it’s targeting can take many forms. They are often sourced from large institutions forced to sell because of recent regulatory, accounting and ratings methodology changes.

Scelfo says they’ve raised $40 million, to date—95% from institutional investors, the rest from friends, family or the partners themselves.

The fund carries a minimum investment of $1 million.


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