Hamza Lemssouguer’s Arini Expands With Hires From QIA, Centerbridge, and BNP Paribas

The just-launched co-investments will eventually span a range of assets, including single name credits, structured credit, activist strategies, and less liquid securities.

Arini is headquartered in London (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Arini is headquartered in London

(Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Arini, an alternatives manager founded last year by Hamza Lemssouguer and focused on fundamental long-short credit, is expanding its team with three new hires and has launched a co-investments business. In October 2021, Lemssouguer, who is CIO and a veteran debt trader from Credit Suisse, raised seed capital through a strategic partnership with Squarepoint Capital. Squarepoint Capital helped launch the hedge fund earlier this year. Arini, which ultimately plans to be fully independent, uses Squarepoint’s infrastructure, operations, and technology.

The firm launched at a volatile time for public fixed income, which has created some of the biggest opportunities for investors in years. In a mid-year letter, the fund — which grew from $1 billion to $1.6 billion in assets under management since the beginning of the year — said it continues to receive interest from new investors. The three new hires all have extensive European credit experience. Younes Belcadi joined as the fund’s chief operating officer. Before Arini, Belcadi was the chief of liquid securities at Qatar Investment Authority, with global responsibilities in equities and fixed income. Arini’s new chief operating officer previously worked in London for Credit Suisse as a director in strategic equity and for J.P. Morgan in emerging markets structured credit.

Stan Fedorenko, who spent the last 16 years at Centerbridge, most recently as a core member of their distressed debt and special situations team in London, will come on as Arini’s senior investment analyst. Arini also hired Mehdi Kashani as a senior structured credit trader. Kashani had been the European head of ABS and CLO trading in London at BNP Paribas. Before that, the structured credit trader was a director and European head of ABS and structured credit at the Royal Bank of Canada in London. He also served as RBC’s interim co-head of European credit trading and developed the firm’s European structured credit franchise.

“The thoughtful expansion of our team strengthens our platform and will position us to attract more talent within a hyper-competitive market,” the letter said. “Each of our new hires has extensive experience investing in European credit markets and possesses long-standing industry relationships that will bolster our existing network.”

Earlier in the second quarter of 2022, Arini also launched its first co-investment offering “to provide investors access to our high-conviction ideas that are otherwise at maximum capacity within our Master Fund,” the letter said. The initial co-investment offering will be solely in structured credit, but Arini said it eventually hopes to expand the offering’s capabilities to span a range of asset and sub-asset classes, including single name credits, activist investments, and less liquid investments.

Additionally, with Arini’s co-investments, the letter said current investors will never have to pay management fees and will be offered the first look at ideas ahead of outside investors, who will pay standard fee rates.