The New Wave

Maybe it was the high caliber attendees and top-notch panels. Could have been the stellar master of ceremonies and sponsor. Whatever the reason, the Wells Fargo Middle Market BDC CEO Forum may have breathed new life into the leveraged loan industry.

Led by Jonathan Bock, this gathering of gurus spent the day discussing the role of business development companies and what’s needed to take the sector to the next level.

Readers of The Lead Left who have followed our BDC series over the past five weeks won’t be surprised to hear how those companies have infiltrated the world of leveraged loans. But at the conference, panel after panel signaled an evolutionary shift.

With banks in full retreat, CLOs under risk retention pressure, and loan mutual funds fixated on rate expectations and cash swings, BDCs are poised to go from a relatively small ($60 billion) participant, to a more significant deal player over the next decade.