Following its $76.3 million equity raise in July, Fifth Street Finance Corporation has hired Churchill Financial veteran Casey Zmijeski as a managing director.

The White Plains, New York-headquartered lender now plans to make full use of its lending capacities, while other lenders are slowing activities. In speaking with MergersUnleashed last week, Fifth Street chief executive Leonard M. Tannenbaum said many of the firms former competitors “have effectively stopped lending.”

Based in Fifth Street’s White Plains, New York office, Zmijeski will source debt financing opportunities and develop relationships with private equity sponsors on the East coast.

Zmijeski originated middle market loans for the New York-based middle market lender Churchill Financial. Before joining Churchill, he was a director at Chevy Chase, Maryland commercial lender CapitalSource Finance.

The new financing that Fifth Street secured last month was a follow-on raise to its $141 million initial public offering in June 2008.

Calls placed to Fifth Street were not returned by press time.

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