Ex-UBS exec Ken Moelis holds first close on $1.8bn(3)

Moelis & Co. has held a $1.8 billion first close on its new fund, just five months after founder Ken Moelis left his position as head of investment banking for UBS.

Moelis & Co., led by former UBS investment banking head Ken Moelis, has held the first close of its debut fund on $1.8 billion (€1.3 billion).

Moelis left UBS in March of this year, reportedly out of frustration with the bank’s reluctance to finance leveraged buyouts. His departure came just a week after co-head of investment banking Jeffrey McDermott stepped down. McDermott went on to form a distressed investments firm, Stony Lane Partners, with US billionaire Michael Heisley. The two are currently raising $750 million to $1 billion for their first fund. Moelis followed suit, and a handful of UBS executives followed him to his new buyout firm, including UBS media banker Navid Mahmoodzadegan and joint head of global mergers and acquisitions Jeff Raich.

Moelis & Co. will focus on co-investments with other firms, rather than leading deals, said a source familiar with the matter. The fund will operate opportunistically, rather than targeting a particular industry or market segment.

Moelis & Co. declined to comment.