CIFC is the biggest U.S. manager of collateralized loan obligations, according to the latest ranking published by Moodys Investors Service.

CIFC nabbed the top spot for January by number of deals with 31 transactions under management. The firm had acquired four deals from GE Capital as well as closed three new ones last year.

Meanwhile, Ares Management and Blackstone/GSO share the second place by number of deals, managing 28 CLOs each.

Highland Capital Management is still the leader in terms of U.S. dollar amount; it manages close to $12.3 billion of seasoned CLO assets.

Wells Fargo is projecting an increase in U.S. CLO issuance to between $70 billion and $80 billion in 2013. Last year U.S. CLO issuance reached $56 billion. Analysts at the firm think that this issuance range would equate to approximately $40 billion to $50 billion in new net supply as older CLOs amortize and are called.

In Europe, where the primary CLO market has remained inactive since the financial crisis, the number of CLO managers held at 46, while assets under management has declined to roughly €65.5 billion ($88.7 billion) in December 2012 from €68 billion in July 2012. There were no new issues last year.

Moody’s rankings for the European CLO market saw Alcentra maintain its top place with 13 deals. The firm was followed by Carlyle, Blackstone/GSO and Intermediate Capital Managers (ICG) each of which has 12 CLOs. The company 3i, which acquired several CLOs in 2012, is fifth place with nine CLOs.

Meanwhile, ICG is still at the top spot in terms of assets under management with €5.7 billion. Alcentra followed with €5.1 billion and Blackstone/GSO at third place with €5 billion of assets under management.

Notable consolidation among Europe’s managers included 3i’s acquisition of five deals from Invesco, raised its ranking by both deal count and assets under management. By acquiring a deal from Bankia, Halcyon became part of the manager league table for the first time. It also came in ninth in terms of assets under management.

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