The $172 billion Oaktree Capital Management plans to promote Robert O’Leary and Armen Panossian to co-CEO roles as Jay Wintrob steps down as Oaktree’s CEO in the first quarter of 2024.
Wintrob joined Oaktree in 2014 after serving as president and CEO of AIG Life and Retirement. The reason for his departure is unclear, but O’Leary and Panossian have been charged with overseeing the organization of Oaktree’s investment teams while they continue to lead in their respective investment areas.
Additionally, Todd Molz, Oaktree’s general counsel and chief administrative officer, will be named chief operating officer and will oversee the day-to-day management of the firm as all non-investment functions at the firm report to him. Molz along with O’Leary and Panossian will serve on the executive committee along with Co-Chairmen Marks and Bruce Karsh and Vice Chairman John Frank.
“We’re delighted to elevate these three outstanding, long-tenured Oaktree professionals,” commented Marks in a statement. “With 54 years of combined experience at the firm, they exemplify the Oaktree culture, with its emphasis on risk control and taking the high road. We couldn’t be more excited that Bob, Armen, and Todd will be leading our company into the future.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to work and invest alongside Bob and Armen for the better part of two decades,” Karsh added. “Not only have they distinguished themselves as highly skilled investors, but also as leaders who have recruited, developed, and retained strong teams. There’s no doubt that this next generation of leaders is rooted in — and intent on maintaining — the principles that are so important to Oaktree.”
The pair will lead a firm that invests in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. They will lead over 1,100 employees and offices in 20 cities worldwide.
Currently, O’Leary is a portfolio manager for Oaktree’s Global Opportunities strategy and leads North America investment activities. Before joining Oaktree in 2002, he worked at McKinsey & Co. as a consultant and prior to that at Orion Partners, a private equity firm where he focused on investments in private companies.
Panossian is now managing director and Oaktree’s head of performing credit, where he has oversight of the firm’s liquid and private credit strategies. He also serves as a portfolio manager within Oaktree’s Global Private Debt and Global Credit strategies. Having joined Oaktree’s Global Opportunities group in 2007, he later joined the U.S. Senior Loan team to assume co-portfolio management responsibilities and lead the development of Oaktree’s CLO business. He became head of all performing credit in 2019. Panossian joined Oaktree from Pequot Capital Management, where he worked on their distressed debt strategy.