Former Air Lease (ALC) executive Ryan McKenna has teamed up with alternative asset investment firm Bain Capital Credit to create an aviation leasing and asset management platform.
Under the deal, Bain Capital Credit will provide capital to acquire and lease aviation assets while McKenna, through the launch of Griffin Global Asset Management, will provide all lease management services for the platform.
“With a partner like Bain Capital the opportunity set is not constrained by size,” McKenna tells Airfinance Journal. “We want to offer airlines a range of products from pre-delivery payments to new orders, sale and leasebacks, to mid-life and end-of-the-life solutions. The airline industry continues to experience attractive long-term growth, and we see many opportunities to serve airlines globally in innovative ways.”
McKenna would not be drawn on the dollar amount of Bain’s investment, saying only that the size “would be dictated by the opportunity set” he sources.
He worked with Bain Capital for “nearly a decade” through his position at Air Lease, where has was the senior vice-president and head of strategic planning.
In that role, he led the formation and capital raisings of Blackbird Capital I and Blackbird Capital II, a private equity platform with a blind pool of capital that acquires and manages aircraft alongside Air Lease. He also led the formation of the Thunderbolt platform which facilitates the sale and continued management of mid-life assets from Air Lease to third-party investors.
Griffin will have offices in Dublin, Ireland and Los Angeles, California
The investment follows an uptick in aviation activity by Bain. Earlier this month, Windward Air Capital acquired five aircraft with leases attached on behalf of Bain Capital. The portfolio consists of young Airbus and Boeing narrowbody and widebody aircraft.
In addition, Titan Aviation and Bain Capital Credit unveiled in December a joint venture to develop a freighter aircraft leasing portfolio with an anticipated value of approximately $1 billion. Bain and Titan have committed to provide $360 million and $40 million of equity capital, respectively.
However, McKenna does not envision synergies with Bain’s other aviation investments. “They are really separate transactions in different parts of the market.”
Matt Evans, a managing director at Bain Capital Credit, says: “As the global commercial aircraft market continues to experience strong tailwinds, we are well-positioned to be able to provide the financing solutions necessary to help airlines and leasing companies efficiently manage their capital needs.”
Bain Capital Credit has $41 billion in assets under management with a team of 200 professionals.