(Bloomberg) -- The biggest opportunity in the distressed debt space right now is in commercial real estate, according to Bruce Richards, chief executive officer of Marathon Asset Management. 

The New York-based global credit manager with about $20 billion in capital management will be bidding on Signature Bank’s $33 billion commercial real estate loan portfolio, which is comprised primarily of multifamily properties in New York City, Richards said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation launched the marketing process for the portfolio on Sept. 5. 

“There’s lots of product coming out of the banks. Jamie Dimon is right — don’t buy the banks is a theme,” Richards said. “It’s not only stricter regulations, but it’s the higher loan loss provisions that are going to go through with the higher rates. They’re really impacting the consumer, businesses and real estate.”


Lower-rated businesses are also an attractive opportunity right now, according to Richards, who is looking for “good operating businesses with good cash flow in place that just have high debt cost service.”

With thousands of mid-sized businesses facing mounting pressures, opportunities to step in and provide capital are around the corner, Richards said. 

He reiterated his call from earlier this year that the market was in a “golden era of credit,” noting the high rates of return for making investments. With the private equity market sitting on over $1 trillion of “dry powder,” Marathon is waiting for more market dislocations to deploy some of its side-lined capital, he said. 

“The real dislocation hasn’t quite happened yet,” Richards said. “But it’s in the process of happening, we believe.”

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