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Morgan Stanley nabs Barclays MD for working out

Morgan Stanley has poached a top Barclays MD with over 20 years of experience with the British bank.

Robert Silverman, who joined Barclays in 2001, became Morgan Stanley’s global head of special assets and work out (unrelated to working out) last week. In his time at Barclays, he worked for the credit risk and special asset management team and specialized in real estate. He will be based in New York.

“Work out” is not only unrelated to bench pressing but is diametrically opposite to the concept of exercise in every conceivable way. A bank’s “work out” department is sent non-performing loans.  It negotiates how those loans are handled and minimizes a bank’s potential loss from a bad debt obligation. These bad debts are the “special assets” in question. As leveraged loans turn sour, headhunters say veteran work out specialists are seriously coming back into fashion.

Silverman might therefore just be one of the most in-demand bankers on Wall Street. Other institutions are likely to be lining up similar expertise. The recent tribulations of $69bn Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, which was unable to meet investor's demands for redemptions in January, is a sign that property-related loans in particular might need some work out muscle.   

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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