NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Star Mountain Capital, LLC ("Star Mountain"), a specialized investment manager with over $3.5 billion in assets under management (committed capital including debt facilities as of 9/30/2023) focused on generating defensive and premium returns from the less efficient and labor-intensive market of U.S. private small and medium-sized businesses (the “lower middle-market”), is pleased to announce that Eric Kirsch has joined as Senior Advisor.
Mr. Kirsch has 40+ years of investment and advisory experience at leading global financial institutions. Most recently he served for over a decade as Global Chief Investment Officer at Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) responsible for building and overseeing Aflac’s investment strategy and investment portfolio representing over $100 billion of assets with investment teams in New York and Tokyo.
“We are excited to have Eric’s distinguished investment and insurance industry knowledge, and leadership,” said Brett Hickey, Star Mountain Capital Founder & CEO. “As a former insurance and asset management-focused investment banker approximately 20 years ago, I appreciate Eric’s aligned mindset focused on data-driven investment decisions and strategies that have high probabilities of success. We welcome his aligned insights and experience in direct lending as we continue to strive to provide investors with attractive yields, and less correlated returns across customized investment solutions including risk-based capital optimized structures for insurance companies.”
“I am delighted to join Star Mountain’s experienced team in what I believe is a very attractive asset class for insurance companies. They have a compelling business model, purpose-built to execute against the supply and demand imbalances and barriers to entry inherent with lending to and investing in growing U.S. small and medium-sized businesses,” said Eric Kirsch. “Representing an estimated 44% of U.S. GDP, I believe Star Mountain’s portfolios benefit from harder to access investments and portfolio diversification benefits, all attributes insurance companies look for when investing on behalf of their general accounts.”
Mr. Kirsch was the Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President at Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) and the President of Aflac Asset Management, the asset management subsidiary of Aflac Inc. until April 2023. Since joining Aflac in 2011, he was responsible for building and overseeing Aflac’s investment strategy and investment portfolio representing over $100 billion of assets with investment teams in New York and Tokyo.
Prior to Aflac, he served as Global Head of Insurance Asset Management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), part of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) from 2007 through 2011. During his tenure he built out this specialty business globally raising over $50 billion of assets and propelling GSAM as a world class insurance asset manager.
Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Kirsch spent 27 years at Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) within Deutsche Asset Management and Bankers Trust Company in several leadership roles including Global Head of Insurance Asset Management, Head of North America Fixed Income and Head of Stable Value Fixed Income.
Mr. Kirsch currently serves on the board of Kuvare Holdings, a private equity owned financial services platform that provides insurance, reinsurance, and asset management solutions. He also serves on the boards of two private asset managers under the Aflac Asset Management general account investments. He also remains a Senior Consultant to Aflac Inc.
Mr. Kirsch’s philanthropic activities include serving as a Trustee of the Baruch College Fund where he is Chair of the Investment Committee. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation and serves on the Investment Committee of the Hackensack-Meridian Hospital.
About Star Mountain
With over $3.5 billion in assets under management (committed capital including debt facilities as of 9/30/2023), Star Mountain takes a data-driven approach to investing into the North American lower middle-market through two complementary investment strategies: (i) direct debt and equity investing and (ii) secondaries (acquiring LP interests and direct assets and making primary LP commitments) and NAV loans to funds. Star Mountain believes these complementary strategies provide data-enhanced, scalable, diversified, and customizable access for its institutional and high-net-worth investors to established businesses that generally have at least $15 million in annual revenues and under $50 million in EBITDA. Its investors include public pensions, private pensions, insurance companies, commercial banks, endowments, foundations, family offices and high-net-worth individuals. Star Mountain is 100% employee-owned and shares its profits with 100% of its U.S. full-time employees as part of its focus on maximizing value for its stakeholders and investors through alignment of interests.
Since 2010 through September 2023, Star Mountain has made over 200 direct investments in businesses and over 40 secondary / fund investments within its Collaborative Ecosystem®, focused on the North American lower middle-market. One of Star Mountain’s specialties is seeking current cash income for investors that is materially above the typical yields found in the public markets, often accompanied with potential long-term capital gains equity returns and low correlation to public markets through its distinctive origination, underwriting and value-added investment capabilities.
Star Mountain was recently named one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.
Star Mountain believes its focus and dedication has been productive for job creation and economic development including in underserved areas and communities. Star Mountain is dedicated to this large market of underserved businesses purpose-built to address the challenges and opportunities of these companies. As part of its commitment, Star Mountain has trademarked Investing in the Growth Engine of America ®.
Star Mountain’s Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 focuses on improving lives through economic development, including job creation, health & wellness and cancer research. Notable missions include helping match veterans and women with high quality small and medium-sized business career opportunities across the country, including within Star Mountain’s portfolio.
Note: This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase interests in any investment product. Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he / she / it will experience a certain level of results if Star Mountain is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral of Star Mountain or its representatives by any of its clients or any other third party. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and / or submitted by the recognized advisor. Moreover, with regard to all performance information contained herein, directly or indirectly, if any, readers should note that past results are not indicative of future results. The description and the selection methodologies of each award and recognition are subjective and will vary.
Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she/it will experience a certain level of results if SMFM is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral of SMFM or its representatives by any of its clients or any other third party. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor.
Crain’s two-part survey process consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part involved an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Star Mountain must pay a fee to Crain’s only for survey collection purposes. Detailed eligibility criteria can be found here: https://bestcompaniesgroup.com/best-companies-to-work-for-in-new-york/eligibility/
To be named to P&I‘s Best Places list, all firms met Best Companies’ high threshold for inclusion and were evaluated against others of similar size. Individual firm profiles, which were compiled based on survey results, reflect U.S. employment numbers and were confirmed by Best Companies in the summer. Company and employee comments were edited for space, style and clarity. Assets under management or advisement are as of June 30, unless otherwise noted. To participate, companies had to have at least 20 employees in the U.S., at least $100 million of discretionary assets under management or advisement and be in business for at least one year. An anonymous employee survey, which aimed to evaluate employee engagement and satisfaction, accounted for 75% of a firm’s score; an employer survey, which evaluated workplace policies, practices, benefits and demographics, made up 25%. https://bestcompaniesgroup.com/best-places-to-work-in-money-management/eligibility/
Companies on the 2023 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2019. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent--not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies--as of December 31, 2022. (Since then, some on the list may have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2019 is $100,000; the minimum for 2022 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Growth rates used to determine rankings were calculated to four decimal places. https://www.inc.com/inc5000