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High-Yield Trade Group Targets New Members

The European High Yield Association plans to expand its ranks through private equity sponsors, hedge fund investors and accountants to take an active role in the industry group, according to Bryant Edwards, the association's new chairman.

The European High Yield Association plans to expand its ranks through private equity sponsors, hedge fund investors and accountants to take an active role in the industry group, according to Bryant Edwards, the association's new chairman. There are currently no representatives from these sectors on the EHYA's board, which until recently consisted only of buy-siders and lawyers. In addition, the chairman is intent on getting participation from Deutsche Bank, the market leader in the European high-yield market by volume. An official at Deutsche Bank said the bank is likely to get more involved with the association as it diversifies its focus and membership away from the buy-side.

Private equity sponsors are playing an increasingly important role on the issuance front and hedge funds are both big buyers of high-yield and in some instances compete head-on with investment banks by providing capital directly to companies, Edwards noted. As a result, it makes sense for these parties to be represented by the trade group. Meanwhile, accounting issues remain key to the structuring and rating of deals and Edwards plans to invite a representative from Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG or Ernst & Young to join the board in the new year.

The association was founded in 2000 and appointed its sell-side official to its board for the first time just last month.

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