Fidelity International has entered the private credit market with the hiring of a team from MeDirect Bank, a move the $706bn (€582bn) asset manager said signals its intention to “enhance its broader alternatives capability”.

The hire of the team from MeDirect Bank, a digital pan-European bank owned by AnaCap, brings with it a €400m European collateralised loan obligation fund, Grand Harbour CLO 2019-1, which will be delegated to Fidelity International.

The MeDirect Bank team, led by CIO Michael Curtis, will transition to Fidelity in March. The asset manager said it hoped to “enhance its broader alternatives ambitions” by developing a full range of private credit strategies.

Welcoming Curtis and his team, Andrew McCaffery, global CIO at Fidelity International, said: “We believe their experience combined with Fidelity’s existing global research platform will enable us to provide attractive solutions for our clients.

“The hiring of this team is an important milestone for Fidelity as we look to build out a broader alternatives platform over the next few years.”

Curtis said the private credit function developed at MeDirect is capable of investing in a range of loan and credit products as well as asset management activities in structured finance.

The team moving to Fidelity comprises a credit portfolio manager, CLO structure, an operations head and a team of six credit analysts said to have more than 70 years of combined experience.

Curtis will be head of private credit strategies at Fidelity and his team will report directly into McCaffery.

Fidelity said it would continue to engage with MeDirect to explore further strategic opportunities. MeDirect is refocusing on retail activities, according to its CEO.

According to IPE’s 2020 Top 500 guide, Fidelity is the third largest asset manager globally and 80th when it comes to assets managed for European institutional clients.

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