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MetLife Investment grows private debt portfolio to $102bn

Friday, March 12, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update - MetLife Investment Management (MIM), the institutional asset management business of MetLife, announced it originated $15.7 billion in private placement debt and private structured credit across 215 transactions in 2020.

This included $3.6 billion of investments originated on behalf of third party institutional clients. This origination activity, which added 85 new credits, helped grow MIM's total private placement debt and private structured credit portfolio to $102.1 billion1 as of December 31, 2020.

"During a year in which companies all over the world were impacted by the pandemic, we continued to provide timely, bespoke financing solutions for issuers that provided liquidity and financial certainty during difficult times," said Nancy Mueller Handal, head of Private Fixed Income & Alternatives at MIM.

MIM's private placement origination for 2020 included $9.0 billion, $3.7 billion, and $3.0 billion in corporate, infrastructure and structured credit transactions, respectively. Notably, nearly $4.0 billion of this origination was completed in March and April last year.

John Wills, global head of Private Placements at MIM, noted: "Our strong corporate relationships and ability to source attractive financing and investment opportunities for our clients around the world were key factors in a strong year for MIM. During the worst of the pandemic-driven dislocation, MIM continued to work closely with new and existing issuers to provide solutions that helped companies and equity sponsors pay down debt, boost liquidity and operational cash, and ultimately, create a financial buffer against the uncertainty caused by the pandemic."

Scott Waterstredt, head of Private Structured Credit at MIM, added: "Macro-economic uncertainty due to the pandemic effectively closed the broadly-syndicated, asset-backed market for a period during the year. The private structured credit team worked with a number of asset owners to provide financing and liquidity solutions that were attractive for both the asset owner and our clients."

Corporate origination was well-diversified by industry sector, led by investment in the Professional Services and Healthcare & Life Sciences sectors, which, together, accounted for roughly one-quarter of the $9.0 billion in origination. Infrastructure origination was led by Renewable Power transactions, which accounted for approximately one-third of the $3.7 billion in origination, supporting sustainability objectives. Private structured credit investments focused on residential mortgage and alternative asset financing transactions.

Mueller Handal concluded: "Looking ahead, we will continue to support issuers and investors with solutions that ensure they manage through the later stages of the pandemic, and we look forward to providing expansion capital for new opportunities as global economic growth resumes post-pandemic."

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