Private Debt Veteran Larsen Launches Placement Agent Briarcliffe

February 24, 2021

Jess Larsen, former head of Americas at First Avenue Partners, has launched Briarcliffe Credit Partners, which will help private credit investment firms raise money.

New York-based Briarcliffe will provide fundraising services to existing asset managers looking to raise as much as $1.5 billion, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday. It will focus on funds outside of the direct lending space, said Larsen, who is chief executive officer of the firm.

“Private credit has really grown up to be a mature asset class and as the market expands and becomes competitive, to be successful it can really help to be specialized in it,” Larsen said in an interview.

The firm’s launch comes as investors looking for yield are pouring money into private credit, which is poised to hit $1.5 trillion in assets by 2025, according to London-based research firm Preqin. An increasing number of credit managers are competing for those dollars. Firms were looking to raise a record $290 billion for nearly 550 vehicles dedicated to the asset class as of January, Preqin said.

“A lot of investors are looking at their private credit exposure and are realizing they may need to not just have direct lending exposure in terms of risk and return streams, and there’s often an appetite for satellite type investment strategies – not only special situations and distressed but things like royalties, private credit secondaries and trade and litigation finance,” Larsen said.

Briarcliffe expects to increase its team to 15 to 20 people over the next two to three years, and intends to focus on U.S. strategies before assessing whether it makes sense to expand geographically, according to Larsen.

Larsen joined First Avenue in 2016, where he led distribution, origination and project management in the Americas. He has also previously worked at Highland Capital Management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, per the statement.

Kyle John, previously director of institutional sales at investment adviser Regan Capital, will serve as managing director of sales at Briarcliffe. John has also previously worked at Highland Capital.

More News & Insights