Tal Gurion
Mariner Glen Oaks

One rare bright spot for hedge funds in 2016 has been middle-market global distressed credit. Among the managers who know the space best is Tal Gurion, founder and managing partner of Mariner Glen Oaks, an event-driven credit fund being seeded by New York–based hedge fund firm Mariner Investment Group.

Israel-born Gurion moved to the U.S. with his family when he was six. A graduate of North Carolina’s Duke University, where he earned a BA in economics, he also has a JD from Harvard Law School in Massachusetts. Gurion entered law school in 1992 with the intent of going into government, but halfway through he switched to finance. Having decided that his destiny lay in banking, he took a year out from Harvard to work for U.S. government–sponsored private equity manager Overseas Private Investment Corp., making investments in Russia. In 1996, after he returned to and finished school, Goldman Sachs Group hired him as an investment banker in its financial institutions department.

Three years later Gurion went into asset management, joining Eos Partners in the New York–based alternative investment firm’s midmarket private equity division. In 2000, right before the dot-com crash and the advent of a new distressed cycle, Eos decided to open a public-market credit operation. With his legal background — useful for understanding bankruptcy and restructuring — Gurion was moved over to the new business.

After Eos he joined New York–headquartered multistrategy hedge fund firm JD Capital Management, launching its credit strategy before leaving for Allen & Co. in 2009. Best known for its exclusive annual deal makers’ conference, the New York–based, privately held boutique investment bank has a $2.5 billion asset management subsidiary, Allen Investment Management, also known as Allen Global Partners. Gurion, 46, ran a credit-focused hedge fund for the asset manager. In 2014 he departed for Mariner to build his own business as part of the alternative-investment firm’s incubation program.

Gurion’s approach to credit investing focuses on midsize companies and looks for event-driven situations worldwide, with a particular focus on Europe. With the situation in the European Union again looking uncertain, the region is a fertile hunting ground for those with the contacts and know-how.

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