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Assets-as-a-Service: Credit Investors and the Tech Economy

Tom Rutledge, former Magnetar Fixed Income Strategist

In this paper, we examine the collaboration between tech-transformed companies and alternative credit investors. Today, these seemingly incompatible segments of the contemporary business world are often found working together: operators are creating high-growth, asset-light business models revolutionizing their industries, and alternative credit investors are often owning or providing debt financing to assets that once would have been held indefinitely on the operator’s balance sheet.

The convergence of new businesses with new capital sources is most visible in lodging and transportation, two industries that have been turned on their heads by sharing-economy business models. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused customers, operators and investors to re-evaluate aspects of these industries, these industries' financial transformations are not over.

After exploring the forces that have led to the unbundling of organizations, we look to a future where operators across a variety of industries may seek a competitive advantage by crafting capital structures that leverage alternative credit’s flexibility and sophistication. This is a companion paper to “Specialty Finance: An Investor’s History,” released February, 2020.

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