GoldenTree Asset Management LP, a money manager overseeing about $18 billion in assets, hired Said Saffari from ICE Canyon LLC to expand in emerging-market debt.
Saffari joined as a partner and senior money manager based in New York, according to Steve Tananbaum, GoldenTree’s managing partner and chief investment officer. Saffari, who reports to Tananbaum, was a senior money manager at ICE Canyon.
Emerging-market corporate debt has tripled to $1 trillion, approaching the $1.2 trillion outstanding in the U.S high-yield bond market, according to Bank of America Corp. Companies from developing countries have sold $219 billion of bonds in the international debt market this year, compared with a record $313 billion in all of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“With Said joining the investment team, our ability to identify relative value in emerging market credit will continue to grow,” Tananbaum said in an e-mailed statement.
GoldenTree, which has typically invested in credit, specifically leveraged loans and high-yield bonds through hedge funds and collateralized loan obligations, has become more involved in the last few years in emerging markets on a sector-specific basis, according to Scott Sunshine, an outside GoldenTree spokesman at Water & Wall Group.
Saffari is the first full-time GoldenTree senior money manager to focus on emerging markets. He is primarily responsible for emerging-market corporate debt and may also be involved in emerging-market sovereign credits, Sunshine said. Saffari’s investments will be incorporated into existing GoldenTree funds, he said.
Emerging-market corporate bonds lost 2.7 percent this year as of Aug. 8, reducing the return since the end of 2008 to 75 percent, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s CEMBI Broad Diversified Index.
There were $670.2 billion of leveraged loans raised in the U.S. this year, an increase from $361.3 billion during the same time period in 2012, according to Bloomberg data. There were $235.5 billion of high-yield bonds sold in the U.S. compared with $191 billion during the same time frame last year, according to the data.
CLOs are a type of collateralized debt obligation that pool high-yield, high-risk loans and slice them into securities of varying risk and return. Leveraged loans and high-yield bonds are rated below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s and less than Baa3 at Moody’s Investors Service. (MCO:US)
At ICE Canyon, the Los Angeles-based investment firm that specializes in emerging-market and global credit, Saffari was primarily focused on the financial, industrial, commodity, and oil and gas sectors, Sunshine said.
Lisa Wolford, an outside spokeswoman for ICE Canyon at Glover Park Group, confirmed Saffari’s departure from the firm.
Saffari joined ICE Canyon in 2007. He was previously a portfolio adviser at Bank of America, Sunshine said. From 1998 to 2005, he was head of European credit research at Credit Suisse Group AG in London, where he was responsible for European and emerging-markets credit research.
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