Allianz Global Investors Strengthens Private Debt Offering With Acquisition of Sound Harbor Partners

Dec 1 2016 | 9:00pm ET

Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has agreed to acquire private credit specialist Sound Harbor Partners as the active investment manager seeks to build out its private debt platform. 

Based in New York, Sound Harbor is focused on alternative investments in corporate loans, direct lending, distressed debt and opportunistic credit. The firm, led by former Carlyle partner Michael Zupon and former BlackStone partner Dean Criares, manages investments in private limited partnerships, collateralized loan obligations and separately managed accounts. 

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, were not disclosed. However, the Sound Harbor team, including Messrs. Zupon and Criares, will join AllianzGI as part of the deal, according to a statement. 

Once the transaction has closed, AllianzGI clients will be able to access U.S. private credit investment funds managed by the Sound Harbor team, which brings with it a track record of outperformance and an established investment process, the company said. The move is the latest by a large money manager to tap into the burgeoning demand for private debt strategies and products. 

Berkshire Capital Securities served as M&A advisor, Kaye Scholer LLP was legal advisor to Sound Harbor, and Sullivan & Cromwell served as legal advisor to AllianzGI.

“Over the last five years, AllianzGI has invested steadily in the quality and breadth of its active investment offering,” said Andreas Utermann, CEO and global CIO of AllianzGI, in the statement. “Within our fast-growing Alternatives segment, private debt stands out as a particularly exciting area. The addition of the team from Sound Harbor is a significant step in that process, strengthening and complementing our existing capabilities in this important space.”

"We are very excited the Sound Harbor team are joining our expanding private debt platform,” added AllianzGI head of alternatives Deborah Zurkow. “We continue to see strong demand from our clients for access to a diverse range of illiquid alternatives solutions. Sound Harbor's expertise enhances AllianzGI’s existing global alternatives capability, which includes infrastructure debt and a fast-growing corporate loans capability in Paris, underlining our desire to establish ourselves as one of the most prominent private debt managers globally.”

Alternative investments are one of the four pillars within AllianzGI’s global investment platform, where the asset class sits alongside equities, fixed income and multi-asset strategies. The company’s alternatives segment, which is comprised of both liquid and illiquid solutions, has doubled AUM over the past two years and now manages more than USD 22 billion. 

A unit of Frankfurt-based financial services giant Allianz, Allianz Global Investors is a diversified active investment manager with 25 offices in 18 countries. The firm manages more than €481 billion for individuals, families and institutions worldwide.

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