American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (“American Equity”) (NYSE: AEL), a leading provider of financial dignity solutions through general account annuities for individual clients in the United States and Monroe Capital LLC (“Monroe”), a premier boutique $11.2 billion asset management firm specializing in private credit, announced today a $1 billion investment in Monroe Capital’s dedicated technology lending platform focusing on middle market Software, Technology and Recurring Revenue (“STARR”) loans originated and underwritten by Monroe. The investment focus will be on software and technology enabled companies that will offer mission critical, high return-on-investment software or technology solutions for its customers.
“Our commitment to the STARR strategy demonstrates the ability of our investment platform to find assets that generate attractive investment income on a risk-adjusted basis,” said Jim Hamalainen, CIO of American Equity. “We are excited to partner with Monroe, whom we view as a best-in-class partner, as we build toward our long-term strategic asset allocation to private assets.”
Ted Koenig, Chairman and CEO of Monroe added, “We are thrilled to partner with American Equity in our technology lending platform. It is a strategy where we can add differentiation for our investor’s portfolios while generating “alpha”. Having a strategic partnership with American Equity will allow us to continue to scale our efforts in this fast-growing space. American Equity will be helpful in the distribution to other like-minded private credit investors throughout the world looking for a unique STARR investment strategy with an experienced manager known for generating consistent returns.”
Under the terms of the agreement, American Equity and Monroe will work together to scale the technology lending platform with third party investors, including other insurance companies, through structured products based on the STARR lending platform.
“STARR has emerged as a vibrant sub-sector of the U.S. economy, similar to where the health care sector was about a decade ago. It represents a highly resilient part of the U.S. economy given the focus on businesses with capacity for recurring revenue from mission critical solutions to their customers,” explained Anant Bhalla, CEO of American Equity. “This is why it has been a prime lending sector opportunity on our radar as we rolled out plans for private assets. American Equity is excited to enter this higher growth, alternative credit sector with a proven partner like Monroe.”
Zia Uddin, President of Monroe Capital and responsible for technology investments for the firm stated, “While we have been investing in technology for almost two decades, we are still early in the digital transformation for many companies, especially in the middle market. We believe there is a great opportunity set for investment in the technology sector through credit. Technology investing is specialized, whether in equity or credit, you need a deeper understanding of the technology and end products to be successful. By partnering with American Equity, we have the ability to strengthen our industry leading scale in the space with a partner that understands the investable landscape as well.”
About Monroe Capital
Monroe Capital LLC (“Monroe”) is a premier boutique asset management firm specializing in private credit markets across various strategies, including direct lending, asset-based lending, specialty finance, opportunistic and structured credit, and equity. Since 2004, the firm has been successfully providing capital solutions to clients in the U.S. and Canada. Monroe prides itself on being a value-added and user-friendly partner to business owners, management, and both private equity and independent sponsors. Monroe’s platform offers a wide variety of investment products for both institutional and high net worth investors with a focus on generating high quality “alpha” returns irrespective of business or economic cycles. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and maintains offices in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Naples, New York, San Francisco and Seoul.
Monroe has been recognized by both its peers and investors with various awards including Creditflux as the 2021 Best U.S. Direct Lending Fund; Global M&A Network as the 2021 Mid-Markets Lender of the Year, U.S.A.; Private Debt Investor as the 2020 Lower Mid-Market Lender of the Year, 2020 Lender of the Year, and 2020 CLO Manager of the Year, Americas; and Pension Bridge as the 2020 Private Credit Strategy of the Year. For more information, please visit www.monroecap.com.
About American Equity
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, is a leading issuer of general account annuities through independent agents, banks and broker-dealers and will continue to expand its capabilities in private asset origination via strategic investments, joint ventures and other initiatives. American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, a New York Stock Exchange listed company (NYSE: AEL), is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa with satellite offices slated to open in 2022 in Charlotte, NC and New York, NY.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The forward-looking statements in this release, such as capability, toward, and will, are based on assumptions and expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, including the "Risk Factors" American Equity describes in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. American Equity's future results could differ, and it has no obligation to correct or update any of these statements.