Oaktree Capital Management, the private equity arm of Los Angeles-headquartered alternative investment firm Oaktree Capital Group, launched a lending unit to finance residential real estate developments.

The new venture, a partnership with Integral Communities managing partner Craig A. Manchester and co-managing partner Eugene S. Rosenfeld, will operate as Sentinel Capital Funding.

In February, Oaktree Capital entered into a venture with The Ryland Group, Calabasas, California-based homebuilder, to purchase and develop residential real estate projects.

In October, Oaktree and Anchorage Advisors, both lenders to the sailing and motor yachts company Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH, launched a restructuring plan to reduce the German manufacturer’s €960 million in debt.

In September, China Investment Corp., the $200 billion sovereign wealth fund of the People's Republic of China reportedly agreed to invest about $1 billion in Oaktree Capital.

Earlier, in May 2007, Oaktree hired John Brady, a former principal at Colony Capital to lead of Oaktree’s real estate group.

The investment firm was founded in April 1995 by Howard Marks, former chief investment officer for Trust Company of the West Group’s (TCW) domestic fixed-income unit, and several other TCW veterans: Bruce Karsh, Steve Kaplan, Larry Keele, Richard Masson and Sheldon Stone.

Oaktree controls about $65 billion in assets under management. Calls placed to Oaktree and Sentinel Capital were not returned by press time.

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