Private Debt has emerged as a formidable asset class. As traditional banking institutions dramatically scaled back their lending in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, non-bank entities, often called direct lenders, filled the void to supply the market with vital capital. In the years since, the Private Debt markets have seen impressive growth. New ventures, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and distressed entities have found direct lenders more accommodating, nimble, and responsive than traditional banks to sector challenges and their specific business needs. As investors search for yield, Private Debt is frequently chosen as an attractive option due to the strong returns offered by this asset class. This has resulted in continued growth of what remains a relatively new, sophisticated, and fast-evolving market.
This program will provide a general overview of Private Debt for attorneys seeking a better understanding of this important asset class. Practitioners Gabriel Yomi Dabiri, Co-Leader of Polsinelli’s Private Debt and Cross Border Finance team, and associate Emily Phillips, will describe the characteristics of the Private Debt market, discuss the reasons why Private Debt, which emerged during the Great Recession, has continued to grow even as the economy has recovered, and will assess the role that Private Debt could play during the next downturn.
Gabriel Yomi Dabiri is the Co-Leader of Polsinelli’s Private Debt and Cross-Border Finance practices. Gabriel advises domestic and international credit funds, commercial banks, business development companies (BDCs), small business investment company (SBIC) funds, investment banks, hedge funds, private equity sponsors and borrowers on middle market and upper middle market finance transactions, including direct lending and alternative finance transactions, working capital facilities, acquisition financings, recapitalizations, debt restructurings and bankruptcies.
Gabriel leverages his market expertise in both “buy-and-hold” private debt strategies and syndicated finance transactions to guide clients on a variety of deals, from the routine to cutting edge. Gabriel’s practice is most concentrated in the growing private debt market, where he regularly advises clients on senior, mezzanine and subordinated loans, unitranche facilities, first lien/second lien facilities, and cash flow, ABL, subscription line and real estate finance transactions. Gabriel also negotiates complex intercreditor and subordination arrangements on behalf of his clients, and has advised clients on various debt restructurings and bankruptcies, including negotiating debtor-in-possession facilities and advising clients in connection with the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis.
Gabriel is dual-qualified, admitted to practice law as an attorney in New York and as a solicitor in England and Wales, and much of his work is cross-border in nature. Both Gabriel’s clients and the deals on which he advises routinely touch jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Polsinelli, Gabriel worked for a Magic Circle law firm in London, Singapore and New York, advising clients on domestic and cross-border capital markets and banking and finance transactions, and for leading global law firms in Manhattan, advising premier international financial institutions and corporate borrowers on large and middle market leveraged finance deals.
Gabriel has been recognized as an Empire State Counsel® Honoree by the New York State Bar Association, as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in each year from 2015 to 2019 for client work in Banking, Securities and Corporate Finance, and by The National Black Lawyers – Top 100 for “exemplifying superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence and performance in his areas of legal practice.”
Emily Phillips is an associate in the Capital Markets and Commercial Lending practice. Emily seeks to provide clients with the highest-quality representation. She has provided counsel to both borrowers and lenders on complex lending transactions, contract negotiation and financial transactions. She has represented a wide variety of clients and has experience working in capital markets, specifically asset backed securitizations in the field of aircraft finance and in commercial mortgage backed securities on behalf of servicers. Emily is also committed to giving back and works pro bono in immigration matters such as asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.Emily represents commercial banks, credit funds, issuers, borrowers and servicers on transactions related to: