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Veterans in Alternative Credit Investing Launch Sycamore Tree Capital Partners

November 20, 2020, 08:30 AM
Filed Under: Industry News

Mark Okada, Jack Yang, and Trey Parker Launch Value-Oriented, Durable-Alpha Asset Manager, Specializing in Private and Alternative Credit.

Mark Okada, Jack Yang and Trey Parker, industry veterans and innovators in alternative credit investing, have launched Sycamore Tree Capital Partners (Sycamore Tree) – an asset manager specializing in private and alternative credit. Mark Okada will serve as Chief Executive Officer, Jack Yang will serve as President and Head of Business Development, and Trey Parker will serve as Chief Investment Officer. John Muse and Ken Hersh are strategic investors in the firm’s initial fund launches and will also serve on the management company advisory board to help shape long-term strategy.

Drawing on the founders’ more than 90 years of experience across both traded and private markets, Sycamore Tree will meet the growing demand for institutional quality managers with multi-strategy credit capabilities. The firm’s initial strategies will include traded credit, structured products and special situations. Sycamore Tree’s launch is funded by its co-founders, and the firm is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

“Credit has become an integral part of asset allocation models in a sustained low growth and low rate environment. We’re building Sycamore Tree based on a foundation of our deep experience across multiple cycles and a culture of client focus, integrity, excellence and trust,” said Mark Okada, Jack Yang and Trey Parker, Sycamore Tree’s co-founders. “Given the unique challenges and opportunities that have emerged this year, now more than ever, experienced and reliable managers, who can navigate complexity, manage risk and identify value, are essential.”

Mark Okada, Chief Executive Officer

Okada is one of the loan industry’s most experienced and recognized investors and innovators, with over 35 years of experience developing markets and products for investors around the world. He is a regular commentator on broadcast television, including Bloomberg and CNBC, regarding markets, fixed income and credit. Previously, Okada was Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Highland Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar alternative investment firm specializing in credit. He oversaw institutional and retail investment activities, including CLOs, SMAs, private equity, listed funds and ETFs.

Okada is devoted to philanthropic and civic causes with a focus on education, health, faith-based service, and Japanese-American relations. He serves as board chairman for Education Is Freedom and the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society. He is a trustee at the Japanese American National Museum, a board governor at The Dallas Foundation, a board member of the U.S.-Japan Council, and a member of the Education Reform Advisory Council at the George W. Bush Institute.

Jack Yang, President and Head of Business Development

Yang has over 35 years of experience in alternative credit, having built leading businesses at both investment banks and asset management firms. He began his career at Chemical Bank where he helped launch the LBO, syndicated finance and high-yield bond groups. He also founded the loan syndication business at Merrill Lynch and subsequently headed global leveraged finance. He was the Managing Partner at Highland Capital Management and Onex Credit Partners, where he developed and executed highly successful growth strategies for the firms’ investment and capital formation capabilities. Most recently, he was Head of the Americas and Global Head of Business Development at Alcentra Group, where he helped more than double the firm’s AUM to approximately $40 billion over six years by focusing on private and alternative credit. He served as a Director and Vice Chair of the Loan Syndications and Trading Association for 10 years.

Trey Parker, Chief Investment Officer

Parker brings over 20 years of experience in leveraged finance and private equity investing to Sycamore Tree. He has experience in loans, CLOs, high-yield bonds, multi-strategy credit, mezzanine debt and private equity across par and distressed markets. He began his career in sales and trading at First Union and Morgan Stanley and then was a mezzanine debt and private equity professional at BMO Merchant Banking. He subsequently joined the Hunt Special Situations Group, where he was involved with a wide range of control-oriented, distressed private equity investments. Prior to joining Sycamore Tree, he was a Partner at Highland Capital Management. Over a thirteen-year tenure, he held a number of key leadership roles, including Co-Chief Investment Officer, Head of Private Equity, Head of Credit and Portfolio Manager. Parker has served on numerous company boards across industries, bringing a combination of financial, operating, M&A and strategic expertise.

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