Triet Nguyen is starting as a managing director at NewOak on Monday.

Nguyen is a credit expert who specializes in high yield and distressed bonds, and is a frequent commentator on Puerto Rico and tobacco debt. He was formerly a managing partner at the Lake Forest, IL-based Axios Advisors, an independent research company specializing in corporate and municipal bonds, that has focused on the high-yield and distressed sectors since 2001.

He will work in New York for NewOak’s corporate municipal group alongside Chris Foster, fellow managing director.

“Through Axios Advisors, I ‘ve been trying to fill a perceived need in our market for an independent and hopefully thoughtful voice on credit-related issues,” Nguyen said in an interview. “At NewOak, I will be able to preserve that independent approach, while also having access to the firm’s deep credit expertise and advanced technology platform.”

Foster said he and Nguyen got to know one another through a Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority webinar on July 30th. He said he was drawn to Nguyen because they both have a muni and high-yield backgrounds and see eye-to-eye.

“We got to know each other more and more, and it was like the perfect marriage,” Foster said.

Foster said that Nguyen will be able to preserve the independent voice he had at Axios Advisors because NewOak is an independent advisory shop.

“We’re not a rating agency, not a broker dealer; clients like coming to us because we’re giving them an independent view,” he said. “We are not colored by ‘oh I’m trying to sell you this bond,’ or ‘I have five bonds and I’m trying to sell behind you’.”

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