Financial services provider TIAA-CREF has launched Churchill Asset Management, a new majority-owned subsidiary that will originate, underwrite and manage senior loan investments primarily in US-based middle-market companies. Churchill Asset Management is led by the former senior management team of Churchill Financial which was acquired by The Carlyle Group in November 2011.
TIAA–CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund) is a Fortune 100 financial services organization with approximately $851 billion in assets under management and is a provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. The company was founded in 1918 by Andrew Carnegie and is headquartered in New York (www.tiaa-cref.org).
“Our investment in Churchill complements our existing platform and offers an attractive source of risk-adjusted yield and credit diversification,” said Robert Leary, executive vice president and president of Asset Management, TIAA-CREF. “It also provides additional opportunities to invest in vehicles that offer compelling sources of income in today’s low-interest rate environment.”
In addition to capital from TIAA-CREF, Churchill will look to raise investment funds from institutional and individual investors who are increasingly looking toward middle-market senior secured loans as an asset class.
Churchill will operate as a standalone business and will be led by Kenneth Kencel, its President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kencel previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Churchill Financial from its founding in February 2006 until its acquisition by Carlyle in November 2011. Other executives joining Mr. Kencel at Churchill include Randy Schwimmer, Head of Origination & Capital Markets; George Kurteson, Head of Underwriting & Portfolio Management; and Alastair Merrick, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. This senior management team has worked together for nearly a decade and has compiled a strong track record, underwriting and investing more than $4 billion in middle-market senior secured loans in more than 400 investments since 2006.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with TIAA-CREF as we look to build a best-in-class middle-market senior loan investment business. Our strong risk management culture and rigorous underwriting and investment process is an excellent fit with TIAA-CREF’s heritage and proven history in fixed income,” said Mr. Kencel. “We look forward to working closely with TIAA-CREF and contributing to their robust and growing specialty credit platform by raising new funds that offer institutional and qualified individual investors access to this attractive asset class.”
“With Churchill, we have a strong foundation to grow our middle-market debt investment capabilities — a talented senior management team with a proven history of originating and underwriting middle-market senior loans,” concluded Mr. Leary.
Churchill Asset Management will be headquartered in New York (www.churchillam.com).
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 4-8-15