The current market environment is characterised by high valuations in equities and low yields in traditional fixed income markets, urging investors to seek for alternative, diversified and stronger sources of return. Private debt is on its way to becoming an established asset class and falls under fixed income and private equity allocations of institutional investors. There is a broad set of opportunities within the private debt spectrum that spans from investment grade assets (IG CLOs, real assets and real estate senior debt) by lending across capital structure in mezzanine, to equity and first-loss like assets (distressed debt, CLO equity/warehousing/risk retention), depending on the risk-return profile of the institution. Navigating from the investment grade to high yield strategies (direct lending, capital relief trades, distressed debt and special situations) investors identify diversified sources of yield generated from illiquidity, complexity and regulatory premia. The $600bn private debt industry is set to exceed $1 trillion according to a research paper from the Alternative Credit Council.
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