Media Center

News

Spring Mountain Capital establishes High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Group to spearhead new investment initiatives focused on distinct investment opportunities in municipals

April 2, 2012

~ High yield and distressed municipal bond specialist Garey M. Fuqua to lead the newly-formed team and Spring Mountain Capital’s credit focused, value driven, opportunistic municipal bond “activist” strategy focused on healthcare, education and other essential public or social-purpose sectors ~

~ The High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Group currently manages and advises on more than $230 million in assets ~
           

New York, NY, April 2, 2012 – Spring Mountain Capital, LP (SMC), an investment management firm that focuses on alternative asset investing, today announced the establishment of its High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Group, and the hiring of high yield and distressed municipal bonds specialists Garey M. Fuqua, Thomas J. Brophy and Sandra T. Matthews to lead its investments in this asset class. Fuqua will lead the team and serve as Managing Director and Group Head of High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies.

Driven by an investment philosophy focused on a dynamic and opportunistic investment thesis and approach, the creation of the High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Group and addition of the new team will expand and strengthen SMC’s expertise and further enhance the firm’s investment line-up. The newly-formed High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Group also strongly complements SMC’s existing investment business lines including: funds of funds, hedge funds, private equity, actively managed private vehicles, and existing investment grade municipal bond investments managed through its affiliate, SMC Fixed Income Management, LP (SMC FIM). 

“We have always been on the forefront of investment innovation by frequently challenging conventional wisdom, and we believe that high yield and distressed municipal bonds currently provide an interesting investment opportunity. Traditional holders of municipal bonds historically do not desire or are prohibited from owning these securities once they become unrated or distressed assets and often sell them for non-economic reasons. The inefficient market and downside protection provided by the real assets used as collateral make high yield and distressed municipals especially compelling today,” commented Launny Steffens, Founder of SMC and Co-Managing Member of its general partner.

The new team members of Fuqua, Brophy and Matthews have combined experience of more than 45 years with specialty areas in healthcare and education. They join from Ofelia Capital, an investment boutique firm founded by Fuqua, focusing on high yield municipal strategies, and have previously worked together and separately in buy-side firms, rating agencies, a bond insurer and a consulting firm as portfolio managers, traders, credit analysts and turnaround specialists with a deep understanding of financial and operational components of nonprofit organizations.

“We are very pleased to welcome Garey and his team to Spring Mountain Capital. By leveraging resources in addition to investment and credit expertise, we are making available a broad range of creative high yield tax-exempt products. The addition of Garey as group head, Tom as portfolio manager and Sandy as director of research and credit will not only complement our existing business but will further enhance our presence and offerings as a premier alternative asset management firm,” said Mr. Steffens.

“We have been impressed with Launny Steffens’ leadership and believe that joining his team at SMC is a natural way for us to utilize our experience and relationships in the municipal marketplace and bring more sophisticated high yield and distressed tax-exempt products to a greater number of clients. Tom, Sandy and I look forward to building the high yield and distressed municipal bonds platform at SMC,” said Mr. Fuqua.

Background on the High Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies Investment Team Members

Garey M. Fuqua, Managing Director and Group Head of High-Yield and Distressed Municipal Strategies
Mr. Fuqua has more than 15 years of experience in public finance. Prior to joining Spring Mountain Capital, he founded Ofelia Capital, an investment boutique firm focusing on municipal debt. He was also previously a Co-Portfolio Manager of high-yield municipal bonds at Aroya Capital, a multi-strategy hedge fund, Director with Cohen & Company, where he co-managed a $425 million municipal CDO portfolio as well as a Director at Fitch Ratings, where he rated and issued credit opinions primarily for municipal bonds of nonprofit healthcare organizations. Mr. Fuqua has also worked at Goldman Sachs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Brown & Wood, Sumitomo and Sallie Mae. He has significant experience in a wide range of non-investment grade issuers as well as turnaround and distressed situations. He is also a recognized authority on operating trends and credit ratings for healthcare facilities. Mr. Fuqua earned a B.S. from the Stern School of Business at New York University (1994) and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (2004).

Thomas J. Brophy, Portfolio Manager
Mr. Brophy has more than 20 years of experience in public finance. Prior to joining Spring Mountain Capital, he was a portfolio manager with Ofelia Capital and before that a Co-Portfolio Manager of high-yield municipal bonds at Aroya Capital. He also served as Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with Neuberger Berman for nine years where he managed national and state specific municipal closed-end funds, as well as accounts for high net-worth individuals with net assets in the combined portfolios of approximately $2 billion. Additionally, Mr. Brophy spent 12 years in various portfolio management capacities at Columbus Circle Investors where he developed and implemented investment strategies for over $1 billion in actively managed tax-exempt assets. Mr. Brophy earned a B.S. from Manhattan College (1980) and an M.B.A. from Pace University (1983).

Sandra T. Matthews, Director of Research and Credit
Ms. Matthews has more than 10 years of experience in public finance and joins from Ofelia Capital where she was a credit analyst. Prior to Ofelia, she was a Co-Portfolio Manager of high-yield municipal bonds at Aroya Capital. She was also previously a Vice President with Cohen & Company, where she co-managed a $425 million municipal CDO portfolio, as well as a Director at Fitch Ratings, where she rated arid issued credit opinions primarily for education related municipal bonds. Ms. Matthews also worked with Neuberger Berman, Radian Asset Assurance, and Standard & Poor's. She is a specialist on operating trends and credit ratings of bonds in the education and general nonprofit organizations sectors, particularly those of non-investment grade issuers. Ms. Matthews earned a B.A. from Queens College (1993) and an M.P.A. from the Wagner School at New York University (1998).

ABOUT SPRING MOUNTAIN CAPITAL

Founded in 2001 and located in New York, New York, Spring Mountain Capital, LP is a private investment management firm that focuses on alternative asset investing and offers investors a wide range of strategies designed to produce attractive risk adjusted returns. SMC has a dynamic and opportunistic mindset with a client oriented focus that drives it toward providing investors with intelligent and sophisticated investment opportunities. Based on its extensive network of personal and professional relationships, SMC is constantly searching for insightful investments from a wide range of sources. For further information, please go to www.springmountaincapital.com.

###

Contact: Wendy Furrer
Spring Mountain Capital, LP
Telephone: 212-292-8317
Email: wfurrer@smcinvest.com