Sound Point Capital Management, a credit-oriented investment manager overseeing approximately $32 billion in total assets, hired Gunther Stein to become head and chief investment officer of its U.S. Performing Credit and CLO platform. The move follows Sound Point’s recently announced agreement to acquire Assured Investment Management, the institutional asset management business of Assured Guaranty, formerly known as BlueMountain Capital Management. This acquisition will boost Sound Point’s assets under management to approximately $47 billion.
Stein is a longtime investor and veteran portfolio manager who previously served as chairman, CEO and CIO of Symphony Asset Management, a San Francisco-based alternative asset manager that invested across the capital structure, primarily in credit. Symphony Asset Management was bought in 2001 by Nuveen Investments, which itself was acquired in 2014 by TIAA.
Stein will be joining Sound Point in June and his responsibilities will include overseeing Sound Point’s U.S. CLO vertical, which today encompasses 30 U.S. CLOs and a long-only loan investing business. Under the announced transaction with Assured Guaranty, Sound Point will also assume the management of 32 active Assured-IM CLOs, comprising 25 U.S. CLOs and seven European CLOs, making Sound Point the fifth largest broadly syndicated loan CLO manager globally on a pro forma basis.
In his new role, Stein will jointly oversee the U.S. CLO investment committee with Founder and CEO Stephen Ketchum and Chief Credit Officer Tom Newberry. Stein is also expected to join Sound Point’s management committee.
Stein joined Symphony in 1999 after having previously worked at Wells Fargo, First Interstate Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Citi Investment Bank. He rose to CEO and CIO at Symphony in 2009, growing the business from approximately $7 billion in AUM to $19.5 billion when he departed the firm at the end of 2018. Under his leadership, Symphony issued more than $10 billion of CLOs and related products.
At Symphony, Stein oversaw a broad slate of traditional and alternative strategies for both institutional and retail investors. These strategies included long and short credit, long only loans, high yield, CLOs, CLO tranche investing, as well as investments in the stressed and distressed space.
In time, under Stein’s leadership, Sound Point expects to launch new initiatives in the performing credit space.
“The addition of Gunther as head and CIO of our U.S. performing credit platform is a major win for our franchise,” Stephen Ketchum, Sound Point’s managing partner and CEO, said. “His credibility is widely established in the markets where our firm is most active, and his track record of leadership is stellar. We look forward to his integration and adding his deep investment acumen to our existing brain trust.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining Sound Point at such a pivotal time in its growth trajectory,” Stein said. “Notwithstanding the firm’s meteoric rise, there is always work to be done and I’m delighted and gratified to bring my experience to such a compelling organization. Sound Point is well on its way to becoming a world class investment leader in credit, and I’m honored to join and help lead the continued growth effort.”