Mr. Brauns is a Partner in the Ares Credit Group, where he is responsible for leading sponsor finance in the Eastern U.S. for Ares' U.S. Direct Lending business. 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.