GSC's Eckert makes comeback

Phoenix Star Capital plans to market its debut CLO in early 2014, says Eckert, who led GSC Group until it collapsed in 2010.

Former GSC Group chief Alfred Eckert has launched an asset management firm dedicated to credit and leveraged strategies.

Eckert has joined with Russ Gerson and Oliver Reeves to launch Phoenix Star Capital with $100 million of capital, according to a statement.

Phoenix will structure, manage and invest in CLO and business development company vehicles.

“Our immediate focus is to structure and market our first CLO in the early part of 2014 followed by additional CLOs and the purchase of equity in existing CLOs and BDCs,” said Eckert in a statement.

Eckert will lead the firm as its chief investment officer. Gerson will manage investor relations and will also work with Reeves to identify new investment opportunities.

The statement highlights Eckert and Gerson’s personal and professional relationship, which has spanned “many years”.

GSC Group, which reportedly managed as much as $28 billion in 2007, declared bankruptcy in 2010 after becoming overexposed to collateralised debt obligations. Eckert declared bankruptcy shortly afterward in 2011.

“I wanted to be as big as we could be. I wanted to be a major financial engineering company,” Eckert told The New York Times earlier this month. “It just killed me to see the looks on the faces of the people I had hired when we closed the place. I was the pied piper.”