Victory Park Capital CEO buys £60k of fund's stock

By Daniel Lanyon on Monday 10 July 2017

Alternative Lending

The head of the VPC Specialty Lending investment trust has made the vote of confidence in its turnaround.

The head of the VPC Specialty Lending investment trust has made the vote of confidence in its turnaround. 

Richard Levy, a director of the £351m VPC Specialty Lending Investment Trust, has increased his holding in the fund.

Levy  is founder and CEO of the trust’s investment manager Victory Park Capital as well as a board member of the fund. He bought 71,916 shares at an average price of £0.8275, totalling £59,510. The transaction cleared on June 7th.

The fund saw a fall in its net asset value [NAV] of 0.68 per cent in May after a 0.62 per cent income return but a -1.3 per cent capital loss. Its income return in the same period was the fifth consecutive pay-out increase.

Last year the closed-ended portfolio began to transition into greater balance sheet lending exposure at the expense of P2P and marketplace lending exposure. May’s numbers show performance was impacted by losses on the latter, mainly from Avant and Prosper  as well as Funding Circle loans also being a drag, VPC said, knocking off -0.27 per cent to the NAV, although the Funding Circle exposure is mainly from its US book with its European loans making up just 1.65 per cent at the end of Q1. 

Avant Securitisations were responsible for a -0.66 per cent hit and equity positions in platforms -0.32 per cent, particularly New York listed Elevate whose share price fell 15.2 per cent in May.

However, the balance sheet loans continued to perform strongly, with no credit losses, contributing monthly income of 0.70 per cent.

Share buybacks have been another shift in strategy in 2017, and appear to be working. The fund’s discount today is 10.7 per cent, compared to 25 per cent in 2016.

Levy serves as chairman of the board of directors of Victory Park portfolio companies, EMS Holdings I, Enteris Biopharma, Mediterranean Cuisine Holding Company, Yalla, Surefire Industries USA, VPC Fuller Brush Operating Corp. (The Fuller Brush Company) and VPC Pizza Operating Corp. (Giordano’s). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of VPC portfolio companies Mi Pueblo Food Center, Silver Airways Corp and YR Holdings, LLC.

Previously, Levy served as head of the Small Cap Structured Products Group and co-head of the Solutions Group at Magnetar Capital. He also co-founded and served as Managing Partner at Crestview Capital Partners.

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