Global Leveraged Capital has formed an advisory arm, GLC Advisors & Co., to advise debtors, creditors and stakeholders in distressed companies, the firm said today.

GLC Advisors, which is staffed by a stable of UBS veterans, is looking to capitalize on what the head of the unit said is an expected 14% default rate among noninvestment grade entities by the end of the year. The advisory practice’s parent invests in distressed middle-market companies across a number of industries.

Thomas Benninger, co-founder of San Francisco-based GLC and former UBS global restructuring head, is chairman of GLC Advisors, the firm said in a statement. He hired Jeffrey Gelles and J. Soren Reynertson, both former UBS managing directors, as managing general partners, as well as eight other former UBS employees.

Gelles previously worked as head of restructuring and leveraged finance for technology, media and telecommunications at UBS. Reynertson is a former managing director in the firm’s restructuring and leveraged finance group.

BNP Paribas veterans were also influential in the 2005 formation of Global Leveraged Capital, as well as professionals with experience at AlixPartners, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deloitte & Touche, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Morgan Stanley, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Salomon Brothers.

Global Leveraged Capital has $700 million under management and offices in New York and San Francisco.

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