Search Spotlight – Direct Lending | The Locke Group


Search Spotlight – Direct Lending

  • Jan 12, 2021
  • Sean Locke

Working together to land a Direct Lending Associate

Read and share this case study here (PDF)

Mandate and Challenges

Our Client is an independent asset manager who is scaling and diversifying their business to remain competitive with larger fund companies. They have made multiple acquisitions in Alternative Credit and in July 2020, the Company decided to make its first outside hire under its own brand – a Direct Lending Associate. They faced several challenges:

  • Rebranding – after the rebranding, the Company was still establishing its name in Alternative Credit and Direct Lending
  • Intense competition – the Alternative Credit industry was booming. The Company faced stiff competition from larger competitors for new talent
  • High standards – maintaining the same high standards for hiring, despite rebranding and high competition
  • COVID-19 – they were forced to interview and make selections remotely, while attempting to convince candidates to make a career change mid-year, amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.


TLG was hired for its ability to quickly reach top passive talent in Leveraged Finance groups at leading banks. We tapped our existing network of candidates from a mix of global banks and top boutiques and crafted our message as follows:

  • Impact – joining a leaner, more collaborative team would offer more responsibility and the opportunity to make a greater impact
  • Visibility – similarly, the lean deal-team offered visibility to senior stakeholders, clients, and therefore more opportunities for professional development.


The message was well received. Within 48 hours of commencing the search, TLG contacted, interviewed, and presented 9 candidates from leading Leveraged Finance teams. 6 were selected for interview, including 3 diversity candidates (50%). The Company identified two finalists who met their standards, fit their culture, and they hired their top choice within 60 days of contacting TLG.

Sean Locke is Managing Partner and Founder of TLG |

The Locke Group (TLG) is a specialist executive search firm which has served the financial industry since 2003. As a boutique, we are deeply invested in our clients – our care for their experience and the experience of their candidates is second to none – and we possess both the strength and flexibility to deliver results which help to power their business.