James Zenni Announces Formation of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C.

Nov 02, 2006, 00:00 ET from Z Capital Partners, L.L.C.

    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;
 and Utilities.
     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
 DePaul University.
     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.