Finance executives Robert Grunewald and Richard Petrocelli have launched a new alternative asset management firm in the US, named Flat Rock Global, which will develop investment strategies for sectors underserved by banks.

The firm's initial fund will be known as Flat Rock Capital, which is expected to be launched in mid-2017. Flat Rock Capital will be a business development company (BDC) that will invest in first lien, senior secured debt of middle market companies.

Grunewald has an experience of over 25 years in middle market finance, BDCs and asset management, most recently as the president and CIO of Business Development Corporation of America (BDCA).  He also served at Wells Fargo Securities and American Capital.

Petrocelli has over two decades of experience in middle market finance, BDCs and private equity. He previously held the role of CFO at business development firms Saratoga Investment, Fifth Street Finance, and Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate.

Flat Rock CEO and founder Robert Grunewald said: "We believe middle market debt provides investors with access to a unique asset class consisting of floating rate, senior secured investments that can generate higher yields, yet lower losses than high-yield debt or broadly syndicated loans.

"Retail investors deserve the right to access this unique asset class in the same manner as institutional investors; with no load and no sales commission. Our single institutional-style share class means a dollar invested in Flat Rock Capital becomes a dollar invested in the fund."