HarbourVest Partners, a global private markets asset manager, has appointed James (Jamie) Athanasoulas as a Managing Director. Based in Boston, Athanasoulas (pictured), will join Managing Director, Peter Lipson, to help lead the continued growth of the firm’s private credit investment program and team.
The credit business leverages HarbourVest’s decades of experience and relationships with private equity general partners to offer tailored financing solutions. HarbourVest’s private credit program complements the firm’s existing business practices, offering investors access to a new asset class characterised by differentiated credit deal flow, capital preservation, and current income.
“The private credit asset class has grown significantly in recent years, becoming one of the most attractive areas of the private markets for institutional investors seeking yield,” says John Toomey, Managing Director, HarbourVest. “We’re excited to have Jamie bring his 20 years’ of middle market expertise to HarbourVest as we continue to build our credit capabilities to support our clients’ needs in both commingled fund and SMA formats.”
“We are pleased to bring Jamie’s industry perspective and network to our team,” says Lipson. “Providing our clients with access to private credit is central to our firm’s strategy, and with his leadership, we will continue to build out the team and our credit product offering to help achieve that goal.”
Prior to joining HarbourVest, Athanasoulas was a Managing Director at Bain Capital Credit, formerly known as Sankaty Advisors, where he originated, structured, and underwrote private debt and equity investments in the middle market. Prior to joining Bain Capital Credit, he was a Manager with Bain and Company where he focused a considerable amount of his time in the private equity group. Athanasoulas received a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
“I’m excited to be joining HarbourVest at this pivotal point in its evolution,” says Athanasoulas, Managing Director, HarbourVest. “The firm occupies a unique position in the industry based on its many years of experience with private equity general partners and I look to strengthen those relationships with credit capabilities.”
The combination of private equity sponsors’ need for lending partners to complete deals and institutional investor appetite for private credit allocations to capture yield has led to growing demand for this asset class. HarbourVest has committed more than USD500 million to 30 private credit direct investments since 20031. In 2014, after years of making private credit investments through various programs with broader mandates, HarbourVest created a dedicated program focused on junior credit investments complemented by an equity component. HarbourVest closed this dedicated private credit fund, Mezzanine Income Fund I, at its hard cap of USD375 million in April 2017.