Illumination Taps Industry Vet Sullivan As COO

Oct 29 2012 | 9:25am ET

Joe Sullivan has been named chief operating officer of Illumination Asset Management, a distressed mortgages and structured credit hedge fund founded by Todd Sherer and Chris Gaughan.

Sullivan joins Los Angeles-based Illumination from Jeffrey Gundlach's DoubleLine Capital, where he served as chief financial officer. Prior to that he was the chief operating officer of Piping Ridge Advisors, a quantitative and technically driven equity long/short hedge fund, and before that he served as both COO and chief compliance officer at hedge fund Peconic Partners (formerly Forstmann-Leff Associates). Prior to joining Forstmann-Leff, Sullivan worked at Dreman Value Management, Hyperion Capital Management, Merrill Lynch’s investment banking division, Standard & Poor’s, Shearson Lehman Hutton, Colt Industries and the public accounting firm Wiss & Company.

Illumination was founded by Sherer, Gaughan and a team of professionals from Dalton Investments and Countrywide Securities. The firm invests in distressed mortgage-backed securities, structured credit and related investments and is a continuation of strategies managed by Sherer between 2008 – 2012.

Sherer's strategies generated average annual returns of 45.1% (net of fees) between June 2008 and June 2012 while managing average assets of $240 million and peak assets of approximately $450 million.

IAM's first fund, the Credit Opportunities Fund, focuses on residential mortgage-backed securities without U.S. government backing, a market worth an estimated $1 trillion. The vehicle launched this month with $205 million.

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