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First Eagle Alternative Credit Expands into Asset-based Lending with Klaff and Galeota at Helm

July 13, 2020, 09:10 AM

First Eagle Alternative Credit, LLC announced that it has added asset-based lending solutions to its direct lending platform and appointed industry veterans Larry Klaff and Lisa Galeota to lead this initiative at the firm.

Klaff and Galeota join First Eagle from Gordon Brothers Finance Company, a majority-owned portfolio company of BlackRock Capital Investment Corporation, where they worked together and at its predecessor firm for over 13 years.  During that time they sourced, originated and structured asset-based facilities valued at over $1 billion across a wide variety of industries. They will be based at First Eagle’s Boston office and will report directly to Chris Flynn, President of First Eagle Alternative Credit.

“The expertise Larry and Lisa bring in asset-based lending and their deep understanding of how these assets are valued and trade is a valuable and complementary addition to our direct lending platform. We are excited to welcome them to First Eagle as we continue to pursue select opportunities to expand our lending solutions,” said Flynn. “We believe asset-based lending solutions will continue to be in demand as companies look for sources of additional liquidity for their working capital, inventory, real estate, machinery and equipment, or intellectual property.”

Klaff, who joins First Eagle as a Senior Managing Director and Head of Asset Based Loans will serve on the Investment Committee of the firm’s direct lending platform for all asset-based loans. Previously, Klaff worked at Gordon Brothers Finance Company and its predecessor firm, Gordon Brothers Group, for almost 25 years, and was most recently responsible for sourcing, originating and structuring new asset-based lending investments. He is a board member and past president of the New England Chapter of the Secured Finance Network (SFNet), formerly known as the Commercial Finance Association, is currently an executive board member of the National SFNet, a board member and past president of the Northeast Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), and a director of the National TMA. Klaff received a B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an M.B.A. from the Kogod School of Business at American University.

Galeota, who has been appointed a Managing Director at First Eagle, co-headed the underwriting and portfolio teams at Gordon Brothers Finance Company and sat on the investment committee. She is a past board member of the Northeast Chapter of the TMA and serves on the board of the Hockomock Area YMCA. She holds a B.S. from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from Bentley College.

“We are excited to join First Eagle Alternative Credit’s $23 billion platform and look forward to collaborating with the team as we develop the asset-based lending operations,” said Klaff and Galeota. “We believe there is significant opportunity for First Eagle to provide highly structured and flexible $10-50 million loans to companies with valuable assets that can be monetized to provide liquidity solutions to companies on both a long and short term basis.”

First Eagle Alternative Credit is among the leaders in both tradable credit and middle-market direct lending, taking a proactive, disciplined and creative approach to investment sourcing, underwriting and portfolio management. The platform has offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles, allowing the firm to build close ties with sponsors looking for a reliable financing partner. First Eagle Alternative Credit has cultivated deep expertise across the four broad vertical industries in which it invests: business and financial services, consumer, healthcare, and information services and technology.

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