Phoenix Investment Adviser, an investment management firm, reported a 40 percent increase in assets under management (AUM) year-over-year, to more than $530 million as of December 1, 2012. The firm specializes in high yield corporate debt.

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In a statement, Jeffrey Peskind, founder and CIO of Phoenix Investment Adviser, said, “We’ve grown significantly in assets over the past year, as investors have become more comfortable with our ability to generate alpha in some inefficient areas of the US credit markets. It’s an exciting time to be a value-based credit picker in the U.S. corporate high-yield market.”

The firm also announced the appointment of Alex Duncan as senior research analyst, as part of the expansion of its investment team. Duncan will cover the health care, chemicals, power, and shipping sectors. He will report directly to Peskind.

“Today we are aggressively capitalizing on investment opportunities across all sectors, and talented professionals like Alex will continue to strengthen our team,” added Perskind.

Before joining Phoenix Investment Adviser, Duncan served as managing director at Par-Four Investment Management. During his tenure at the firm, he supervised long and short principal investments across high-yield, leveraged loan, and distressed markets, representations in bankruptcy court creditor committees, and negotiations of workouts and restructurings.

Duncan also served as a research analyst at Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) Alternative Investments. Prior to his position at Citigroup, he was an analyst at the leveraged finance unit of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts’ Alternative Investments Committee and a CFA charter holder. Duncan holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Drew University.

Phoenix Investment Adviser’s JLP Institutional Credit Fund received $40 million seed investment from a large European financial institution last summer. The fund has approximately $65 million in assets under management. It was designed to limit downside and volatility, while generating high-yield corporate credit returns. The firm’s flagship JLP Credit Opportunity Fund receives ongoing inflows.

Peskind established Phoenix Investment Adviser in 2003 after working in the high-yield and credit markets for more than 15 years. He believed that an investment management firm strictly focused on “stressed” companies offers an excellent risk/reward opportunity.