The Creditors’ Ball

The Who’s Who of leveraged finance showed up for the Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum at the Plaza Hotel in NYC last week.

In what has become the Davos of Credit, titans of our industry such as Howard Marks, Leon Black, and Larry Fink held forth on broad themes around what the smartest and biggest money is thinking and doing in today’s challenging investing environment.

Direct lenders David Golub, Josh Easterly, Jim Zelter and Bennett Goodman addressed issues confronting these non-bank market leaders. Particular attention was paid to how their firms were positioning themselves for the next downturn.

Mike Arougheti, Mike Patterson, Joel Holsinger, and Tom Finke then took on the “public” versus “private” debate: where must you search for yield when the global rate outlook seems to be “lower for longer?”

Finally, Mike Bloomberg and Jamie Dimon offered their own unique, fascinating takes on both the commonplace and bizarre aspects of today’s political and financial climates.

All of which was orchestrated expertly and con brio by the BDC maestro himself, Jonathan Bock. Over time Mr. Bock has developed the Forum into the best “must-attend” industry gathering of the year. If BDC stuff ever gets old, we’re confident he can parlay this performance into a full-time gig.

As we wrap up The Lead Left for 2017, we thought we’d pass along a few conference nuggets of wisdom drawn from various panelists that caught our attention: