LAKE FOREST, Ill., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- James Zenni today announced
the formation of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. ("Z Capital"), a privately-held
alternative asset management firm based in Lake Forest, Illinois. The new
firm will initially establish a hedge fund to be seeded with Mr. Zenni's
personal capital. The hedge fund will focus primarily on opportunities in
the non-investment grade senior secured debt markets.
Mr. Zenni is President and Managing Principal of Z Capital. He is the
former President, co-owner, and co-founder of Black Diamond Capital
Management, L.L.C. ("Black Diamond"), an alternative asset management firm
established in 1995. Mr. Zenni co-led Black Diamond for over ten years from
its inception until October 2006 when he divested his ownership interest in
Black Diamond in a management buyout.
Mr. Zenni said, "In a rapidly evolving investment landscape, I am very
excited about this opportunity to lead a new firm and the initial hedge
fund. We will be very disciplined with respect to our growth and, as
opportunities arise, we will form a distressed debt-private equity fund to
pursue control strategies. We are very fortunate to have assembled an
extremely talented and experienced group of professionals, and I look
forward to our future accomplishments."
Six associates from Black Diamond, including the following three
individuals, are joining Mr. Zenni at Z Capital:
Christopher Kipley is a Principal of Z Capital and is a senior member
of the investment team. Mr. Kipley is a former Managing Director and senior
member of the investment team at Black Diamond. Mr. Kipley was with Black
Diamond for over eight years underwriting investments in debt securities
ranging from par credits to deeply distressed credits. Over the past few
years, Mr. Kipley primarily had responsibility for distressed debt /
private equity investments across multiple industries. Some of these
investments included Classic Cable, Inc., New World Pasta Company,
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, Sleepmaster L.L.C., Smarte Carte Corporation, and
Sun World International, Inc.
Rahul Sawhney is a Managing Director of Z Capital and is a senior
member of the investment team. Mr. Sawhney was previously a Senior Analyst
at Black Diamond where he was responsible for the underwriting and
oversight of debt investments in numerous industries including: Automotive;
Business Equipment Services; Clothing and Textiles; Electronics; Leisure;
Jon Schmugge is the Chief Financial Officer of Z Capital and is
responsible for all aspects of Z Capital's accounting and financial
reporting. Mr. Schmugge is a former Chief Accounting Officer of Black
Diamond and was responsible for all aspects of Black Diamond's financial
reporting, tax filings, and accounting. Mr. Schmugge was with Black Diamond
for over nine years.
Also joining Z Capital are:
Martin Auerbach, Esq. is the Consulting General Counsel to Z Capital
and a Director of Z Capital Finance L.L.C., and will oversee regulatory
compliance and general corporate matters. Mr. Auerbach is a former
Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and
has established a distinguished career spanning twenty-eight years. Mr.
Auerbach has a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Harvard Law School and
a Bachelors degree with high honors from Harvard College. Mr. Auerbach is
in private practice and had a similar role with Black Diamond.
Courtney McDermott is a Managing Director and the Head of Human
Resources for Z Capital and is responsible for all aspects of the human
resources function with a primary focus on recruiting. Prior to joining Z
Capital, Ms. McDermott was Founder and Principal of Synergy-Search, Inc., a
retained executive search firm. Client companies that Ms. McDermott served
while at Synergy-Search included: McKinsey & Company; Deloitte Consulting;
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young; Huron Consulting Group; Abbott Laboratories;
Kraft General Foods; Pharmacia; Kaufman Hall; and Ziegler.
Melonie Clark is a Senior Associate and Head of the Treasury and
Settlements Department. Ms. Clark is joining Z Capital from Citadel
Investment Group, L.L.C. ("Citadel") where she was an Associate and handled
all aspects of loan settlements and operations. Prior to Citadel, Ms. Clark
was a Senior Asset Funding and Closing Associate at Black Diamond and had
similar responsibilities for several years.
Chad Wettstein is an Associate in the Treasury and Settlements
Department and manages and oversees trade settlements and related legal
documentation. Mr. Wettstein is joining Z Capital from ING Investment
Management Co., where he was a Funding and Settlement Manager and had
similar responsibilities for over five years.
Hang Yuan is Chief Information Officer and is responsible for the
creation and implementation of proprietary systems to support portfolio and
risk management. Mr. Yuan's prior experience includes several years at
Goldman Sachs, Magic Trade, and Progeny Incorporated in similar capacities.
At Goldman Sachs, Mr. Yuan was responsible for business requirement
evaluation and design, development and testing of systems for various
proprietary trading desks. Mr. Yuan has a Bachelors degree in Nuclear
Physics from Fudan University and a Masters degree in Computer Science from
Additional investment professionals have committed to join Z Capital in
the first quarter of 2007.
About Z Capital Partners
Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. is a privately-held alternative asset
management firm based in Lake Forest, Illinois. Under the leadership of
President and Managing Principal James Zenni, the firm initially intends to
create a hedge fund to focus primarily on opportunities in the
non-investment grade senior secured debt markets.
SOURCE Z Capital Partners, L.L.C.