Babson Capital Management has launched a middle market lending group, the Springfield, Mass.-based investment management firm said.

The firm said the Middle Market Lending Group would enable it to offer a full suite of middle market financing products to complement its mezzanine and private equity group. The group will focus on private equity portfolio companies and companies run by “outstanding management teams.”

Ian Fowler, Brian Baldwin and Mark Flessner joined the new group as senior members. The three worked together as principal investors for Freeport Financial and GE Capital’s global sponsor finance group.

Michael Hermsen, head of Babson’s private finance group, said in a statement that the new middle market group will enable Babson to add senior secured financing to its list of services. He added that middle-market senior secured loans are a stable asset class that offers downside protection.

Babson Capital and its subsidiaries have approximately $149 billion in assets under management.

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