Lee Stern has joined Monroe Capital LLC as a managing director in its New York office. Stern will lead the firm’s efforts in club and co-lending investment partner work and help expand Monroe’s junior capital for private equity sponsored and non-sponsored deals.

Monroe president Theodore Koenig said in a statement that the firm will benefit from Stern’s experience in working through debt deals for middle-market companies and structuring deals in different industries.

Stern was most recently managing director with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Prior to that he was a director and founding member of the mezzanine debt segment of KKR & Co. LP (NYSE: KKR) where he helped raise its large $1 billion mezzanine fund. Before KKR he was a managing director with Blackstone/GSO Capital Partners where he oversaw senior and mezzanine investments. He also served as chief transaction officer with business development company Technology Investment Management Corp. He has also held leadership positions with Nomura Securities, Thomas Weisel Partners, Kidder Peabody and Drexel Burnham Lambert.

This past January the Chicago-based investment firm said it closed the Monroe Capital Senior Secured Direct Loan Fund LP, a $500 million leveraged loan fund that will invest in senior debt that it originates and underwrites.

In November 2013 the firm said it hired Bradley Nii as a managing director for its Los Angeles office. It hired a Chicago office leader in early 2012.

Monroe Capital has more than $1.3 billion in assets under management. It has invested more than $2.5 billion in more than 500 transactions since its founding in 2004. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Los Angeles; New York and San Francisco. Its affiliate Monroe Credit Advisors advises on structuring and arranging credit through relationships with banks, commercial finance companies, debt investment funds and leasing companies.

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