Black Diamond to open London office

The Illinois and Connecticut-based alternative investment firm has appointed Peter Cannon, a former senior fund manager at Merrill Lynch, to head up its London operations.

US-based alternative investment firm Black Diamond Capital Management has announced that it plans to open a London office in June of this year.

Peter Cannon, a veteran of the leveraged loan and structured finance sector, has been appointed as managing director of Black Diamond GB (BDGB).

Cannon was most recently senior portfolio manager at RMF Investment Management, part of the Man Group, where he helped develop the company’s CDO franchise. Prior to that, he was a senior fund manager for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and director of acquisition finance at Lloyds TSB, where he established and developed the bank’s leveraged finance business in Europe.

“We see the leveraged loan market in Europe as very robust with excellent growth prospects for us, and we believe that Peter Cannon is uniquely qualified to help us take our presence there to the next level,” said Bill Bokos, senior managing director of Black Diamond Capital Management, in a statement.

Bokos added that BDGB will make more hires in the “near term future”.

Founded in 1995 by principals James Zenni and Stephen Deckoff, Black Diamond Capital Management currently manages approximately $8 billion (€6.6 billion) in both private equity and hedge funds. The firm also has offices in Illinois, Connecticut and the US Virgin Island.

In January of this year, Black Diamond Capital Management sold its investment in US baggage-cart rental business Smarte Carte to Australia’s Macquarie Bank in a roughly $270 million deal, yielding an almost 6x return multiple.