Firms are ready to scrap for private credit talent

With demand for private credit investing talent on the rise, competition is getting ugly.

Earlier this week, US asset manager Barings launched a lawsuit against former executives and Corinthia Global Management—a plucky new UK-based private credit firm set up by Australian real estate veteran Paul Weightman—after the upstart lured away some top talent.

By all accounts, this wasn’t a common or garden bit of competitive head-hunting, but rather something akin to a full-on corporate raid. No fewer than 20 top Baring executives reportedly joined Corinthia in a single day.

According to an earlier report by LCD, the firm has drawn in Adam Wheeler and Ian Fowler, co-heads of Barings Global Private Finance Group and senior members of its Private Finance Group: Alice Foucault, Joseph Buckley, Matt Carty, Benjamin Gillet and Mark Wilton. In a statement, Barings said it retains the majority of its private credit team and that it has the support of its parent, Mass Mutual.

It’s an exceptional case, but nevertheless shows just how fierce competition for talent is getting as asset managers and banks alike build out their private credit units.

Obviously, the biggest winners here are the talent. Last month, a report from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles revealed that private credit professionals are now among the top earners on the buy side in Europe’s financial sector, pulling in €13.7 million (about $14.9 million) on average. That suggests Corinthia’s “raid” was quite expensive.

Looking at the current state of the asset class, it’s clear why there is a demand for talent. We have covered how fund managers, and even banks, have been bolstering their private credit operations in response to growing demand from investors.

With the asset class riding high, at least for now, the prevailing opinion is that there are still plenty of returns to be made in meeting the credit demands—if you can find the talent.