It all started in 1995 when Mr. Marks and five partners left investment firm TCW Group Inc. in a dispute to found Oaktree, a firm that forged a reputation as specialists in the distressed-debt and high-yield bond markets. Los-Angeles-based Oaktree today has more than 650 employees and is the one of the largest distressed-debt investors. It raised almost $11 billion back in 2008 for the largest distressed-debt fund in the world, according to data provider Preqin. Oaktree's 17 funds in that category have averaged annual gains of 17.5% for the 23-year period ended June 30, net of fees.
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