Press release: Alternative Credit Council announces new Chair

Published: 24 January 2023

Alternative Credit Council announces new Chair

The Alternative Credit Council (ACC), the global representative body for private credit fund managers and an affiliate of the Alternative Investment Management Association, is pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah Zurkow, Global Head of Investments at Allianz Global Investors, as its new Chair.

Zurkow assumes leadership of the ACC from Stuart Fiertz, Co-Founder and President of Cheyne Capital, who has chaired the ACC since its formation in 2016. Fiertz will remain on the ACC board.

Private credit funds are now a key segment of the alternative asset management sector and significant participants in credit markets, providing an estimated US$1.4 trillion of credit to SMEs and mid-market businesses around the globe.

Since its establishment in 2016, the ACC has supported the growth of the asset class through its research programme and engagement with investors and policymakers. Its annual Financing the Economy research provides essential insights into the key investment and allocation trends shaping the expansion of the sector. Global policymakers are acting on the ACC’s recommendations to remove structural barriers to the growth of private credit, allowing capital market investors to play a more prominent role in financing economic growth.

In 2023, the ACC will continue to support investor understanding of the evolving opportunities and challenges in credit markets, by promoting consistent ESG disclosure for credit investors, and engaging with policymakers as they assess how private credit funds contribute to resilient capital markets.

Deborah Zurkow, Global Head of Investments at Allianz Global Investors, said: ”It is an honour to become Chair of the ACC. Against a challenging and uncertain economic backdrop, telling the story of the real-world impact that ACC members make through their funding is more important than ever. That story includes innovation and growth in a number of areas I am particularly passionate about, including infrastructure and blended finance solutions, as well as an increasing focus on sustainability.”

Stuart Fiertz, Co-Founder & President at Cheyne Capital, said “It has been extremely rewarding to oversee the growth of the ACC, which now has 250 members managing over US$800 billion of private credit assets, and an ever more important role in the industry. With her experience in private credit and significant contribution to the board of the ACC thus far, Deborah is the ideal person to be assuming the role of the next Chair.

Jiří Król, Global Head of the Alternative Credit Council, said: “Stuart’s leadership has been central to the ACC’s growth over the past eight years, and I thank him for his support and guidance during his time as Chair. I am delighted to have someone with Deborah’s drive, commitment and passion for private credit as Chair of the ACC and look forward to working with her to support our members.

About Deborah Zurkow

Deborah Zurkow is Global Head of Investments at Allianz Global Investors, and a member of the Executive Committee. In January 2020, Deborah took on responsibility for leading Allianz GI’s investment platform, which comprises Private Markets, Equities, Fixed Income and Multi-Asset strategies.

Deborah joined AllianzGI in 2012 as CIO and Head of Infrastructure Debt, leading a team that pioneered infrastructure debt as an asset class for institutional investors. Since its inception, the team has made over EUR 20bn of debt investments in a variety of infrastructure sectors across the globe.

Before joining AllianzGI, Deborah was CEO of Trifinium Advisors Limited and head of Public Finance EMEA for MBIA UK Insurance Limited.

Deborah holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA from Wellesley College. She is on the board of the ACC (Alternatives Credit Council) and a Founding Board member of the LTIIA (Long-term Infrastructure Investors Association).

She has been included in Financial News’ list of ‘100 Most Influential Women in European Finance’ on multiple occasions.

Press contacts

Drew Nicol

Associate Director, Research and Communications

[email protected]

About the ACC

The Alternative Credit Council (ACC) is a global body that represents asset management firms in the private credit and direct lending space. It currently represents 250 members that manage over US$800bn of private credit assets.

The ACC is an affiliate of AIMA and is governed by its own board which ultimately reports to the AIMA Council.

ACC members provide an important source of funding to the economy. They provide finance to mid-market corporates, SMEs, commercial and residential real estate developments, infrastructure as well the trade and receivables business.

The ACC’s core objectives are to provide guidance on policy and regulatory matters, support wider advocacy and educational efforts and generate industry research with the view to strengthening the sector's sustainability and wider economic and financial benefits.