In the firm's first asset management acquisition, NewStar Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: NEWS) is buying Feingold O'Keeffe Capital LLC for an undisclosed amount.

Boston-based Feingold manages $2.3 billion in assets and focuses on credit-oriented investment strategies, such as bank loans, high yield bonds and distressed debt. The firm's co-founders Andrea Feingold and Ian O'Keeffe will continue to lead the group, which will be renamed NewStar Capital.

The purchase allows NewStar to grow in liquid loan, long/short and stressed and distressed debt offerings that are managed through collateralized loan obligation funds, hedge funds, separate accounts and retail funds.

NewStar is actively working to expand its asset management offerings, and Feingold is the group's first investment management acquisition. In November, NewStar received a $300 million investment from Franklin Square Capital Partners. Franklin's funds are sub-advised by the Blackstone Group's (NYSE: BX) GSO Capital Partners. That deal was intended to give Franklin and GSO access to the lower middle market, and help NewStar find more cross-referral and co-lending deals.

NewStar, also headquartered in Boston, is a commercial finance business with direct lending platforms for middle-market companies and private equity firms.

K&L Gates LLP was NewStar's legal adviser for the deal. GreensLedge Capital Markets LLC advised Feingold and Seward & Kissel LLP provided legal counsel.

Asset management operations have attracted a fair amount of dealmaker interest in recent months. In July, Ares Management LP (NYSE: ARES) agreed to add Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP for $2.5 billion, and Broadmeadow Capital agreed to pick up assets of bankrupt asset manager F-Squared Investments.

Meanwhile, earlier in September, General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced it would explore a sale of asset management arm GE Asset Management as part of a plan to focus on the business' industrial operations.

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