Morgan Stanley

FrontPoint Partners Adds Investment Team Focused On Direct Lending

Feb 19, 2010

Led by Stephen Czech, Team Will Manage Strategy Dedicated to Lending to Small and Mid-Sized Businesses in the U.S.

New York —

FrontPoint Partners LLC announced today that it has added a new investment team to its platform.  The team, led by Stephen Czech, will manage a direct lending strategy dedicated to originating and investing in secured loans to small and mid-sized businesses primarily in the United States.  Mr. Czech will be joined at FrontPoint Partners by Mark Newlun, Sze Ling Wan and Paul Ahrens.  The team will be based in FrontPoint's Greenwich, Connecticut office.

Mr. Czech has over 21 years of leveraged lending and corporate finance experience and was the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Contrarian Capital Finance, a middle market-focused direct lending strategy.  At Contrarian, Mr. Czech successfully built the investment team and executed the strategy for four and a half years.  Mr. Czech was most recently a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Gottex Fund Management Holdings Limited LLC. ("Gottex").  As part of an agreement between FrontPoint Partners and Gottex, Gottex clients will continue to be able to access investment opportunities sourced by Mr. Czech and his investment team. 

Dan Waters, Co-CEO of FrontPoint Partners, said, "Steve brings to FrontPoint extensive direct lending, corporate finance and corporate restructuring experience across numerous industries and companies.  We are extremely pleased that he and his team are joining our platform to manage a strategy that will focus on investments in loan opportunities that would not typically attract the attention of conventional banks, commercial finance firms, collateralized loan obligation investors, hedge funds and mezzanine investors."

Added Mike Kelly, Co-CEO of FrontPoint Partners, "Given the significant dislocation in the direct lending market, we believe this strategy presents a compelling opportunity for both our investors and for middle-market businesses seeking funding."

"As many direct lending industry participants exit the direct lending business or gravitate towards larger borrowers, middle-market businesses have been left with few financing sources," said Mr. Czech.  "I am very excited to join FrontPoint and leverage my experience to help middle-market borrowers gain necessary access to credit in this challenging market environment."

Prior to founding Contrarian Capital Finance, Mr. Czech was head of the Mezzanine Finance Group at Credit Suisse, before which he was a senior member of the Leveraged Finance Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.  Mr. Czech was also previously a Senior Credit Officer of ABN AMRO's Leveraged Finance Group and a Vice President at Banc of America Securities.  In addition, Steve is the founder and Co-Chairman of The Mikey Czech Foundation.  He holds a B.S. from Marquette University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

FrontPoint Partners LLC is a global integrated alternatives asset management firm focused on providing single strategy and multi-strategy absolute return investments to institutional investors and their advisors.  FrontPoint integrates and supports its portfolio teams through a central infrastructure managed by an experienced business team who provide trading, risk management, compliance, legal, accounting, technology, administrative services, marketing, and back office functions.  As of December 31, 2009, FrontPoint manages approximately $7 billion across single and multi-strategy vehicles.

Media Relations Contact: Erica Platt, 212.762.6848