Strategy

Special Situations
Candlewood 's special situations platform consists of opportunistic credit strategies focused on event-driven / distressed investing. The investment objective is to provide total return, predominantly through capital appreciation, by investing primarily in the debt of companies or pools of assets that are expected to restructure, enter bankruptcy or liquidate. As a point of entry, the strategies will usually invest in debt instruments trading at a substantial discount to par value. The team expects to hold a portion of these investments through the bankruptcy or restructuring process and may receive part, if not all, of an investment's recovery in the form of post-reorganized equity. The team may also invest in the debt of companies or structured products where the underlying collateral is currently in runoff or liquidation. During periods of low defaults and restructuring activity, a larger portion of the strategies' assets may be invested in other value based investments, liquidating investments or performing credit than during periods of high corporate defaults. In addition to performing and nonperforming debt, the strategies may invest in equities, options and credit derivatives.

Structured Credit
Candlewood's structured credit platform is focused on stressed and distressed structured credit. The strategies take a multi-sector approach to the structured credit universe. The team looks for strong risk-adjusted returns across RMBS, CMBS, and other ABS sectors such as small business loans, aircraft operating leases, student loans and ABS CDOs. This diversification also helps to mitigate any adverse risk profile that can result from over-concentration within a single asset class. The strategy takes an active approach to trading, helping monitor liquidity and depth across the sectors in which the strategy invests. The team focuses on cash flow modeling, asset valuation, relative value, and collateral performance and is able to leverage off Candlewood's broad credit platform.

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Disclaimer
The information set forth in this web site is provided for informational and discussion purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be regarded or construed as, financial, investment or other advice of any kind. Candlewood does not warrant the accuracy of the information provided on this web site or in any linked site, either expressly or impliedly, for any particular purpose and expressly disclaims any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Michael Lau
CEO, Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager
  • Mr. Lau is the Chief Executive Officer and a Managing Partner of the Investment Manager. Mr. Lau is also a Portfolio Manager of the Candlewood Special Situations strategies. Prior to forming the Investment Manager, Mr. Lau held several senior positions at Credit Suisse (CS). In 2005, Mr. Lau formed the CS Candlewood Investment Group where he was a Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager for Candlewood Capital Partners LLC, a special purpose investment vehicle wholly owned and funded by affiliates of CS. In 2007, the CS Candlewood Investment Group began managing third party capital. Prior to forming Candlewood, Mr. Lau ran a proprietary distressed debt investment portfolio for the CS Leveraged Finance Division from 2003 to 2005. Prior to managing proprietary capital for CS, he was a par and distressed debt trader (1998-2003) and a leveraged finance banker (1997-1998) at CS and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, Inc. (acquired by CS in 2000). Mr. Lau, CFA, received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Phil DeSantis
President, Managing Partner
  • Mr. DeSantis is President and a Managing Partner of the Investment Manager. Prior to joining the Investment Manager, Mr. DeSantis was previously at Credit Suisse as co-head of global credit products and a member of the bank’s fixed income management committee. Mr. DeSantis has 26 years of industry experience and his prior roles at Credit Suisse included head of credit products Americas, head of public credit trading, head of high yield distressed trading, and head of private distressed trading. Prior to his 13 years at Credit Suisse, Mr. DeSantis was a Managing Director in the leveraged finance group at DLJ and a credit trader at Lehman Brothers. Mr. DeSantis received his Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.
David Koenig
Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager
  • Mr. Koenig is a Managing Partner of the Investment Manager and Portfolio Manager of the Candlewood Special Situations strategies with responsibility for directing the Investment Manager’s investment decisions with respect to the strategy. Beginning in 2005, Mr. Koenig was a Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager for the CS Candlewood Investment Group. Mr. Koenig joined CS in 2004 as a Research Analyst in charge of proprietary distressed investments. Mr. Koenig began his career at Merrill Lynch Capital Services in 1998, where he helped establish the Energy Commodity Trading business that was later sold to Allegheny Energy Supply Company in 2001. At Allegheny, Mr. Koenig was Head of Western Origination and Structuring from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, he returned to Merrill to help re- establish the commodity business, during which time, Mr. Koenig worked with the Corporate Principal Investment and Trading Group investing in distressed energy projects. Mr. Koenig, CFA, received his Bachelor’s Degree from Babson College.
Jonathan Weiss
Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager
  • Jonathan Weiss is a Managing Partner of the Investment Manager and Portfolio Manager of the Candlewood Special Situations strategies with responsibility for directing the Investment Manager's investment decisions with respect to the strategy. Mr. Weiss joined Candlewood in September of 2014. Prior, Mr. Weiss was at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from 2008 to 2014, most recently as global head of the Special Situations Group and co-head of U.S Credit Trading. Before joining RBS, Mr. Weiss was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns, Inc. where he had various roles in distressed and leveraged loan trading from 1999 to 2008. Mr. Weiss, CFA, has a Bachelor's Degree from Lafayette College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Indra Chandra
Managing Partner
  • Mr. Chandra is a Managing Partner of the Investment Manager. Mr. Chandra is also the Credit Market Strategist for the Investment Manager with the primary responsibility for credit market research, directing business strategy and managing investor relations. Prior to forming the Investment Manager, Mr. Chandra was the Head of Credit Market Strategy for the CS Credit Investment Group. Mr. Chandra was a founding member of the Global Leveraged Finance Strategy and Portfolio Products Group at CS and DLJ from 1998 to 2008 where he had a broad range of roles ranging from research, capital raising, product management and investment banking. Prior to joining DLJ, Mr. Chandra worked as a leveraged finance banker at Chase Securities. Mr. Chandra, CFA, received his Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell University.
Gregory Richter
Structured Credit Portfolio Manager, Partner
  • Mr. Richter is a Partner and a Portfolio Manager of the Candlewood Structured Credit strategies. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Richter was a Structured Credit Advisor to the CS Candlewood Investment Group and a Portfolio Manager for structured credit accounts managed within CS’s Credit Investment Group. From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Richter was a Managing Director and the Head of CS’s Specialty Finance Group, where he oversaw the operations of the combined Global Asset Finance Capital Markets and the Specialty Finance Banking Group. Prior to joining CS in 2000, Mr. Richter spent 15 years at Prudential Securities in New York, where he was a Managing Director and served as the head of Trading and Syndicate for all structured products. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Colgate University.
Brian Herr
Structured Credit Portfolio Manager, Partner
  • Mr. Herr is a Partner and a Portfolio Manager of the Candlewood Structured Credit strategies. From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Herr was a Structured Credit Advisor to the CS Candlewood Investment Group and a Portfolio Manager for Structured Credit accounts managed within CS’s Credit Investment Group. Mr. Herr joined CS as a Trader and Research Analyst for structured products. Prior to joining CS, Mr. Herr worked for two years in the structured products department of Brown Brothers Harriman and Co. as a Structured Products Sector Manager, where his primary responsibilities included trading ABS, RMBS, agency mortgage backed securities and CMBS, having assets under management of approximately US$2.5 billion. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Boston University.
Al De Leo
Head Trader, Partner
  • Mr. De Leo is the Head of Trading for and a Partner of the Investment Manager. Prior to joining the Investment Manager in 2010, Mr. De Leo was a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director at Marathon Asset Management (2000-2009) investing for the Marathon Special Opportunity Fund. Mr. De Leo focused on distressed investments, bankruptcies and debt restructurings. Prior to Marathon, Mr. De Leo spent 10 years (1990-2000) running a proprietary trading desk at Banco Santander (New York) which focused on distressed debt investing in the U.S, Europe and Asia. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from the University of San Diego.
Justin Wohler
Credit Analyst, Partner
  • Mr. Wohler is a Partner and Research Analyst for the Investment Manager. Prior to joining CIG, Mr. Wohler was a Senior Research Analyst for the Special Situations strategy at CS. Mr. Wohler was the third member of the CS Candlewood Investment Group joining in 2005. Prior to CS, Mr. Wohler worked at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where he was a Credit Analyst responsible for covering leveraged loans. Mr. Wohler, CFA, received his Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University.
Janet Miller
General Counsel, COO, Partner
  • Ms. Miller is a Partner and General Counsel/Chief Operating Officer of Candlewood. From 2001 until joining Candlewood in 2011, Ms. Miller worked at Sidley Austin LLP. At Sidley, Ms. Miller represented alternative fund vehicles, investment advisors, various domestic and foreign corporations and investment and commercial banking firms in a wide range of transactions. Such transactions included providing counsel to lenders and agents in restructurings and syndicated loans across a range of industries. Ms. Miller has also advised her clients on general domestic and international corporate and securities matters. She is a member of the American Bar and New York State Bar Associations. Ms. Miller received a Bachelor’s Degree from James Madison University in 1997 and her JD from the University of Connecticut.
Gurdev Dillon
CFO, Chief Compliance Officer
  • Mr. Dillon is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Candlewood. Prior to joining Candlewood in 2010, Mr. Dillon was CFO of Archer Capital Management, L.P. since inception in 2006. Prior to Archer, Mr. Dillon was a Vice President and Controller of Tribeca Management LLC. Prior to Tribeca, Mr. Dillon was Assistant Controller at MSD Capital, L.P., a family office of Michael S. Dell. Mr. Dillon graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Binghamton University.
Michael Ardisson
Director of Business Development
  • Mr. Ardisson is the Director of Business Development for Candlewood. Prior to joining Candlewood in 2013, Mr. Ardisson led Strategy & Business Development for Credit Suisse Alternative Investments, responsible for managing business strategy globally, including oversight and execution for various growth initiatives, product development, M&A, JVs, and financial planning. Prior, Mr. Ardisson worked at Morgan Stanley as an investment banker in the Financial Institutions Group, and also in the Investment Management division focused on business strategy. Mr. Ardisson received a Bachelor’s Degree from Loyola University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Peter Dowling
Director of Operations
  • Mr. Dowling is the Director of Operations for Candlewood. Prior to joining Candlewood, Mr. Dowling worked in the operations group of CS’s Asset Management Division with responsibility for overseeing operations of certain investment vehicles there. Mr. Dowling joined CS in 2006 and helped develop the operations platform for single-manager hedge funds. Prior to joining CS, Mr. Dowling worked for six years at Deutsche Bank Alternative Investment Group in the operations group that supported single-manager as well as the fund-of-fund hedge funds. Mr. Dowling received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Kean University.