ZAIS Group Makes Senior London Office Hires

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Structured credit firm ZAIS Group has hired two new executives to spearhead its collateralized loans obligation an other asset-backed businesses out of London.

New Jersey-based ZAIS on Tuesday announced the hiring of Ahrash Daneshvar as a managing director  investment operations, as well as vice president Iris Arrington of client relations.

Daneshvar previously headed the structured credit business at Morgan Stanley’s London and New York offices, and will focus on the firm’s credit derivatives and quantitative trading strategies. Daneshvar spent more than 10 years at Morgan Stanley; prior to that, he worked at UBS as a structured credit trader as well as serving in equity derivatives market risk analysis at Commerzbank in London.

ZAIS Group, according to its Web site, has nearly $4 billion in assets under management in both corporate-credit and mortgage-related structured credit vehicles. Those include collateralized loan obligations, non-agency residential mortgage backed securities and commercial asset-backed transactions in North America and Europe.

The company has been a long-time investor in CLO tranches, but launched its own managed CLO platform in 2014 with the first of five existing CLO deals it has structured. Zais has issued three deals totaling nearly $1.1 billion in 2015 and 2016, including it's most recent deal in the $408 million ZAIS CLO 5 transaction that closed in September. 

Speaking on the firm’s expansation efforts, founder and chief investment Officer Christian Zugel said that “with low to negative interest rates meaningfully dampening prospects for strong returns in traditional fixed income, numerous inefficiencies are developing in structured credit investments which we believe will make them appealing over the next few years,” according to a press release.

Arrington was tapped from Marathon Asset Management, where she was VP in investor relations and sales. Arrington also previously held positions with Goldman Sachs and Evercore Partners.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article inaccurately described Daneshvar's role at ZAIS.

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