Pacific Alliance boosts distressed investment team

The Hong Kong-based firm has hired four professionals from Deutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific distressed products group.

Pacific Alliance Group has built up its investment team with the hire of four professionals from Deutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific distressed products group.

Anshumann Woodhull, Kanak Kapur, Anil Gorthy, managing directors, and Stuart Blieschke, vice president, will seek out distressed debt and other credit-related investment opportunities in Asia for Pacific Alliance. At Deutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific distressed products group, Woodhull had the role of head of origination, structuring and special situations in the; Kapur was head of Asia distribution; Gorthy was a director; and Blieschke was an associate.

They will report to Pacific Alliance managing partner, Chris Gradel.

Gradel said in a statement the opportunities in credit, distressed debt and other stressed and distressed assets across Asia were “profound”.

The firm invests in this sector through two funds: Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund, a closed-end hedge fund which listed on London’s AIM market in 2006; and Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund LP, also a hedge fund.

Pacific Alliance has had an active couple of months. In June, it appointed Anthony Miller president and CEO of Pacific Alliance Japan, a newly formed unit of the firm. Tokyo-based Miller, known for leading The Carlyle Group’s move into Asia, is heading the firm’s efforts in investing in Japan’s real estate, distressed debt and private placement markets. 

The launch of Pacific Alliance Japan came after the firm agreed a partnership with real estate investment firm Secured Capital Japan in March, to co-invest in “prudent real estate opportunities and distressed debt over the next several years in Japan and Greater China”. The agreement saw Pacific Alliance buying around ¥4.5 billion ($45 million; €33 million) in convertible bonds from Secured Capital Japan.

Pacific Alliance Group was founded in 2002 and now has over $4 billion in assets under management. With offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo, it focuses on three core areas of investment: private equity, real estate and absolute return and distressed.