Mr. Brauns is a Partner in the Ares Credit Group, where he focuses on U.S. direct lending. Prior to joining Ares in 2017, Mr. Brauns was a Managing Director and Head of Sponsor Finance at American Capital, Ltd., where he focused on origination, structuring and underwriting leveraged finance transactions as well as managing a group that had an investment portfolio of over two billion dollars in leveraged financed assets. Previously, Mr. Brauns was a Vice President at GE Capital, where he focused on senior debt and second lien transactions for leveraged middle market companies across a variety of sectors. In addition, Mr. Brauns was an Associate at Lazard, where he focused on structured products. Mr. Brauns holds a B.S., summa cum laude, from Salisbury University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.