US-based investment bank Lazard is reportedly in discussions to buy hedge fund firm Brigade Capital Management to accelerate its expansion into the credit segment.

Brigade is about to sign the deal with Lazard, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the matter.

New York-headquartered Brigade, led by Don Morgan, is said to manage $30bn in assets.

The firm led talks for control of a number of companies in bankruptcy or about to default, including Guitar Centers and IHeartMedia.

According to sources, Brigade will be absorbed into the bank’s asset management division if the deal goes through. The business managed over $270bn in client assets as of this September.

A Brigade spokesman declined to comment on the news while Lazard representative didn’t immediately respond to the news agency’s requests for comment.

In 2019, Lazard Asset Management offloaded its Alternative Emerging Markets multi-manager (AEM) business to US-based specialised asset management firm The Rohatyn Group.

The same year, the unit revealed plans to axe 7% of its jobs following a review of the business.

Meanwhile, the news on Lazard’s potential acquisition comes at a time when financial companies are seeking to tap into alternative investments in search of higher returns and a rapidly evolving market.

Last week, T. Rowe Price brokered a $4.2bn deal to buy alternative credit manager Oak Hill Advisors as part of its strategy to expand beyond mutual fund business.

This week, Franklin Templeton struck a deal to scoop up private equity fund manager Lexington Partners for $1.75 bn in cash. The deal is expected to bring alternative assets under management to $200bn.