Briarcliffe Expands Team With New Hires as Private Credit Booms

September 8, 2021

Jonathan Moll tapped for managing director of fundraising

Firm launched in February and has expanded through hiring

Briarcliffe Credit Partners, a less than year-old placement agent focused on private lending, expanded its fundraising team with three new hires as it seeks to capitalize on a record influx of investors into its corner of the credit market.

Among them is Jonathan Moll, a private-debt veteran who most recently spent nearly eight years at White Oak Global Advisors and was brought on as managing director of fundraising, the firm said in a statement. Bogdan Vilicich, who previously worked at ACT Commodities and AIG Investments, and Brett Murray, who held positions at Prospect Capital Management and Oppenheimer & Co., were hired as vice presidents of fundraising. Alex Sarver, formerly of Marathon Asset Management, has also joined the firm to serve as vice president of general partner advisory, according to the statement.

“These additions will not only enable us to deepen our relationships in the industry, but will also help us to meet growing investor appetite for private credit,” Chief Executive Officer Jess Larsen said.

Larsen launched the New York-based Briarcliffe in February to take advantage of the rapidly growing private-credit industry. The firm offers fundraising services to investment firms and focuses on strategies outside of direct lending -- where firms bypass banks and provide loans directly to companies, typically to midsized businesses -- in favor of other areas of the market. Larsen and his team are focusing on strategies that include non-private equity backed lending, global special situations and sectors such as food, agriculture and shipping.

The private-lending industry has swelled as investors hunt for better returns at a time of low bond yields. The number of private-debt funds raising money and the amount of dollars targeted by firms has more than doubled since January 2017, according to industry research firm Preqin Ltd. As of July, private debt managers were looking to raise $295 billion.

Larsen said he expects to add five more people to the firm by the end of the year.

“What we’re looking to do is find strategies that can complement and add to the overall portfolio of a big pension fund or insurance company or endowments -- their investment to private credit,” Larsen said. “If you add some of the more kind of esoteric, sector-specific type strategies that give higher returns, your overall allocation in private credit will be more diversified as well as slightly higher returning.”

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