Private Credit

Investment Approach

Our Private Credit Strategy provides a diversified private credit solution to its investors. The fund invests in a portfolio of corporate private credit instruments such as 1st lien, 2nd lien / mezzanine, as well as PIK and Holdco Notes in the U.S. and Europe. Its objective is to generate stable, attractive cash yield and annual returns by selecting investment opportunities across sectors, geographies and partners throughout the economic cycle. Over the past 15 years, the team has established a global network, investing successfully through economic cycles using the appropriate debt instruments.

Management Style

Our private credit team has a diversified experience investing across the capital structure in different private credit instruments. We create value through active sourcing, investment selection, due diligence, structuring and negotiation of transactions we believe offer superior risk-return investment propositions to investors. Our approach is centred upon creating strong partnerships with companies as well as world-class private equity and private credit investors in order to maximize value through the cycle, while focusing on downside protection.

Key principles

  • Direct sourcing and underwriting model focused on fundamental evaluation of private credit opportunities across the capital structure
  • Seek investment opportunities with strong downside protection while having a high contractual return
  • Strong private credit culture combined with a private equity due diligence mindset
  • Invest in niche opportunities and defensive credit instruments in quality companies
  • Diversification across geographies, sectors and private credit instruments

PRIVATE CREDIT AS AN ASSET CLASS

Private credit as an asset class has historically offered the following benefits:

  • Liquidity premium – private credit generated better returns over time than publicly traded credit
  • Portfolio diversification – low correlation with traditional public markets and other private alternative asset classes
  • Attractive cash yield and risk-adjusted absolute returns
  • Broad investment universe not accessible through public markets
  • Private credit is a growing part of institutional portfolios, allowing investors to achieve long-run target returns

Private Credit Team

Mathieu DesforgesMathieu Desforges

Partner, Fiera Comox

Mathieu Desforges is a Partner at Fiera Comox. In this role, he leads the Private Credit strategy in the U.S & Europe. He is also a member of the firm’s Investment Committee overseeing Fiera Comox’s three strategies: Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit.

Read biography

Mathieu Desforges is a Partner at Fiera Comox. In this role, he leads the Private Credit strategy in the U.S. & Europe. He is also a member of the firm’s Investment Committee overseeing Fiera Comox’s three strategies: Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit.

Prior to joining Fiera Comox in 2019, Mathieu spent seven years with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), where he was the Head of Junior and Opportunistic Credit. He launched the Junior and Opportunistic Credit strategy in 2013 and grew it to $3.3 billion. In this role, Mathieu was responsible for investing globally in debt instruments (subordinated debt, mezzanine, PIK and preferred equity) as well as in opportunistic credit and distressed debt. He ran direct investments, co-investments and fund investments. Mathieu was a Board member of three CDPQ investee companies: Hilco Global, an American financial services holding company; Avison Young, a full-service global commercial real estate firm; Edelweiss ARC, an investment and financial services company based in Mumbai. Mathieu was also a member of CDPQ’s Relationship Investing Investment Committee as well as Edelweiss ARC’s Distressed Debt Investment Committee.

Mathieu also spent 10 years at Lehman Brothers in London in the Investment Banking & Fixed Income groups, investing Lehman Brothers’ balance sheet and managing distressed debt & special situations across Europe. Mathieu started his career as a corporate lawyer in Montreal at Fasken and then in Paris at BBLP Moquet Borde. Mathieu holds an MBA from London Business School and a law degree (LL.B) from the Université de Montréal.

Antoine Bisson McLernonAntoine Bisson McLernon

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

Antoine Bisson McLernon is a Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Comox. He chair’s the firm’s Investment Committee and oversees its three strategies: Private Equity, Private Credit and Agriculture.

Read biography

Antoine Bisson McLernon is a Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Fiera Comox.

He chair’s the firm’s Investment Committee and oversees its three strategies: Private Equity, Private Credit and Agriculture. Prior to establishing Fiera Comox in 2016, Antoine spent seven years with PSP Investments, where he last was Managing Director and head of Private Equity for the Americas and Asia. He ran both direct and fund investments, oversaw a $11.0 billion portfolio and a team of 25 people. In 2011, he started PSP Investments’ global Natural Resources group and led the group for five years, building a $3.0 billion portfolio of direct investments. Antoine was a member of PSP Investments’ firm wide Investment Committee from 2011 until he left PSP Investments in July 2016.

In the private debt space, Antoine was a member of PSP’s Private Debt Investment Committee as well as a Board member of Hayfin Capital Management, a multi-billion dollar debt manager. He led PSP’s equity investment in Hayfin which, alongside partners, created the firm in 2009.

Before joining PSP Investments in 2009, Antoine worked in private equity at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and in investment banking at National Bank of Canada. He currently sits on the boards of directors of Golden Pear Funding (US), Rangitata Dairies (New Zealand), and Lassen Land Company (US). He has previously sat on the boards of directors of Telesat (Canada), AmWins Group Inc. (US), Haymarket Financial LLP (UK), TimberWest Forest Corp.(Canada), Kaingaroa Timberlands (New Zealand), YBY Agro (Brazil) and X2 Resources (UK). Antoine received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce (Great Distinction) from McGill University and is a CFA charterholder.

Maxime DoraisMaxime Dorais

Principal, Fiera Comox

In his role, Mr. Dorais leads the due diligence, negotiation and structuring of the investments in the Fiera Comox Private Credit strategy.

Read biography

In his role, Mr. Dorais leads the due diligence, negotiation and structuring of the investments in the Fiera Comox Private Credit strategy. Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Maxime was a Director in the Private Equity group at CDPQ. In this role,  he specialized in junior and opportunistic credit where he invested ~US$1B through 15 transactions including a large partnership (equity + co-investment structures) with an investor in the distressed space. Prior to that, Maxime was a Director in the Subordinated Debt and Private Equity team at BMO Capital Partners where he completed over 10 investments in the lower mid-market space in Canada and Northeastern US. He also spent 2 years in investment banking where he closed 4 M&A transactions totaling over US$5B and did multiple other advisory mandates.

Maxime holds a BCom in Finance from McGill University (with honors) as well as CFA and CBV designations. Mr. Dorais is also a Board member of the Fondation de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal.

Frédéric DesparsFrédéric Despars

Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Prior to Fiera Comox, Frédéric spent six years with PSP Investments where he last was Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer overseeing a team of 35 people.

Read biography

Prior to Fiera Comox, Frédéric spent six years with PSP Investments where he last was Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer overseeing a team of 35 people. Prior to his nomination as CLO, Frédéric lead a team of transactional lawyers advising PSP’s natural resources, private equity, private debt, and infrastructure asset classes representing C$24 billion of net assets. He was also a senior member of the team that formed the Private Debt group at PSP Investment and was a member of PSP’s Private Debt Investment Committee.

His expertise in the debt space includes representing corporate and public borrowers in relation to several Canadian, U.S. and European public and private financings in excess of C$20 billion, including credit facilities, MTNs, high yield notes, convertible debentures, preferred shares and securitization programs, as well as working on more structured instruments (CLOs and credit risk insurance programs) for large European financial institutions.

Before joining PSP, he occupied the top legal position for a Montreal-based pharmaceutical company and held senior legal positions within the Quebecor group of companies. He started his career in private practice with Fasken Martineau (Montreal) and Clifford Chance (Paris). In 2005, he was recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” in-house counsel by Lexpert and the National Post. Over the years, Frédéric worked on transactions in more than twelve countries, including setting up JVs in the UK, NZ, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Egypt.

Frederic received a MBA from Université Laval, a LL.L and LLB from University of Ottawa and a B.B.A. from HEC Montréal.

Kam KhorasaniKam Khorasani

Senior Associate, Fiera Comox

In his role, Kam is responsible for completing the analysis and due diligence of investments in the Fiera Comox Private Credit strategy.

Read biography

In his role, Kam is responsible for completing the analysis and due diligence of investments in the Fiera Comox Private Credit strategy. 

Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Kam worked in private equity at Silver Lake in the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent most of his time evaluating and executing preferred equity investments with downside protection and invested over US$1B. Prior to Silver Lake, Kam worked in investment banking at Moelis & Company in Los Angeles, where he was involved in executing M&A and capital markets transactions totaling US$7B across a diverse range of industries.

Kam graduated from the University of Western Ontario (Ivey Business School), where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Honours Business Administration (with Distinction, Ivey Scholar).

Max William DunberryMax William Dunberry

Analyst, Fiera Comox

In his role, Max provides support to the due diligence and analysis of the investments in the Fiera Comox Private Credit strategy.

Read biography

Max William Dunberry is an Analyst at Fiera Comox for the Private Credit, Agriculture and Private Equity Strategies. Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Max worked in the strategic partnership group of CDPQ where he analyzed multiple strategies across different asset classes in order to source investment opportunities for CDPQ’s Private Credit, Private Equity and Infrastructure’s investment teams. He previously also worked at Deloitte and BMO Financial Group.

Max holds a BBA from HEC (with high distinction).

 

Michel PietteMichel Piette

Senior Vice-President, Business Development

Michel Piette is a member of the Institutional Markets team and is responsible for client servicing and business development for institutional clients for private investment strategies.

Read biography

Michel Piette is a member of the Institutional Markets team and is responsible for client servicing and business development for institutional clients for private investment strategies.

Michel has 19 years of industry experience. Prior experiences include various positions as analyst and portfolio manager within investment management firms in the United Kingdom. Additionally, he held various business development roles within Deutsche Bank AG, based in London (UK). Prior to joining Fiera Capital, Michel was in charge of business development for Mercer’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer and alternatives solutions in Montreal.

Michel graduated from University Laval with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), majoring in Finance. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Vince MorelloVince Morello

Vice President, Finance and Administration

Vince has more than twenty years of experience in the fields of finance and accounting, including nine years in asset management

Read biography

Vince Morello is Vice President, Finance and Administration at Fiera Comox.

Vince is responsible for leading the firm’s Finance function, which includes the management of the financial accounting, performance, valuation, treasury, taxation and budgeting functions.

Vince has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of finance and accounting. Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Vince spent the last 9 years in asset management and was Corporate Controller at PSP Investments. Prior to that, he held management positions in publicly traded companies operating in the construction materials and services, information technology, and manufacturing sectors.

Vince holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from Concordia University as well as the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation.

 

Anna TranAnna Tran

Corporate Controller

In her role as Corporate Controller, Anna overseas the financial accounting and reporting of investments and investment-related activities.

Read biography

In her role as Corporate Controller, Anna oversees the financial accounting and reporting of investments and investment-related activities. Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Anna spent the last 10 years in asset management, as Manager of Corporate Finance at PSP Investments and as Head of Operations for Private Equity and Infrastructure at CDPQ. 

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in commerce and a graduate diploma in accountancy from Montreal’s HEC, as well as the CPA, CA designation.

Matteo PisanoMatteo Pisano

Senior Accountant

Matteo is responsible for supporting the firm’s financial accounting and reporting functions, as well as overseeing the investor reporting activities, for the Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit investment strategies.

Read biography

Matteo Pisano is a Senior Accountant at Fiera Comox.

Matteo is responsible for supporting the firm’s financial accounting and reporting functions, as well as overseeing the investor reporting activities, for the Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit investment strategies.

Prior to joining Fiera Comox, Matteo worked as a Senior Auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he led external audits across an array of large international public and private clients operating primarily in the Asset & Wealth Management, Pension, and Real Estate sectors. He previously also worked at Concordia University as Senior Tutorial Instructor for courses in Canadian Taxation, Financial Reporting and Analysis of Markets.

Matteo holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA auditor) designation. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction) and his Graduate Diploma in Chartered Professional Accountancy at Concordia University, where he graduated as Valedictorian of his 2017 cohort.