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Courage Capital Hires Industry Veterans to Expand Lower Middle Market Distressed Debt Effort

March 14, 2013, 07:31 AM

Courage Capital Management, a privately held SEC-registered investment advisor that offers alternative investments to institutional and private clients, announced that John E. Klinge and Scott A. Imbach have joined the firm as senior managing directors. Klinge and Imbach, distressed debt industry veterans, will open Courage’s Los Angeles office and lead the firm's investment efforts for its credit opportunities strategy. The two will also join Courage's investment committee.

Richard Patton, founder and chief investment officer of Courage said: “We are pleased and excited to welcome John and Scott to the Courage team. These gentlemen bring to Courage over 50 years of collective experience investing in all forms of stressed and distressed opportunities, longstanding relationships that provide a sourcing and research advantage, and demonstrated track records of realizing value in businesses confronting operational or financial challenges. Both John and Scott are experienced investors across market cycles. In addition, they have helped build successful investment businesses and managed significant amounts of institutional capital. The addition of John and Scott will bolster Courage’s dedicated, lower middle market stressed and distressed debt investment strategy which is part of our broader focus on event-driven, special situation investing.”

Founded in Nashville, TN in 1998, Courage is an established alternative asset manager that has developed a highly successful track record of employing opportunistic event-driven, special situation investment strategies focused on investments in U.S. middle market companies. The firm has maintained longstanding relationships with many respected investors and has a history of committing significant capital alongside its partners.

Klinge brings to Courage 29 years of banking and investment experience including an 18-year track record of investing institutional capital in a variety of stressed, distressed, control-play, high yield, and leveraged loan opportunities. Klinge has extensive transaction experience in out-of-court restructurings, Chapter 11 reorganizations, and Chapter 7 liquidations. He  joins Courage from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), where he worked for eight years and was a senior managing director and chief credit officer. While at LLCP, Klinge co-led the firm's efforts to build a new distressed debt business and directly participated in raising the $508 million Deep Value Fund ("DVF") established to realize superior long-term returns through opportunistic investments in debt and other securities of companies in the U.S. middle market.

Klinge commented: "I am delighted to join Courage Capital and work closely with Richard Patton and other members of the firm to help grow its alternative asset investment business. Courage has a demonstrated history of putting the interests of its investment partners first and maintains longstanding relationships with many highly respected institutional and high net worth investors. Consistent with both the investment strategy deployed by Courage in its first two credit opportunities funds, and the strategies implemented during my 18 years of managing institutional capital dedicated to the distressed debt and leverage finance space, we will continue to pursue a focused influence and control distressed debt investment strategy designed to capitalize on the constant flow of investment opportunities in the U.S. lower middle market."

Imbach brings to Courage over 23 years of banking and investment experience including 16 years of investing in stressed, distressed and other special situation credit opportunities including restructurings, reorganizations, liquidations, leveraged loans, high yield debt and proprietary private debt financings. He joins Courage from LLCP where he was a managing director and where he worked closely with Klinge on DVF for almost three years. During that time, the two successfully invested together in a variety of U.S. middle market stressed, distressed, restructuring and reorganization opportunities. While at LLCP, Mr. Imbach also served as Portfolio Manager for two credit-focused, special situation investment vehicles. Prior to joining LLCP, Imbach was a founding partner and director of research for approximately three years for Empyrean Capital Partners, L.P. (“ECP”), a $1.5 billion multi-strategy hedge fund.

Imbach commented: “I am excited to join Courage and become part of the Credit Strategies team. I have known Richard Patton for over 20 years and we have collaborated together on a number of investment opportunities in the past. I have a great deal of respect for Richard and the business he has built. In addition, I have known John for over 20 years and recently worked closely with him for almost three years at LLCP pursuing a U.S. middle market control and influence distressed debt strategy that is very similar to the one we will pursue at Courage. I believe these longstanding relationships and years of working together will allow the Courage team to collectively operate seamlessly to deliver superior investment results to our investors and to expand the firm’s dedicated, lower middle market stressed and distressed debt investment effort over time.”

Courage is a privately held, SEC-registered alternative asset manager based in Nashville, Tennessee. The firm serves institutional investors including endowments, foundations, family offices, pension funds and fund of funds, as well as high net worth individuals.

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