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Rory O’Neill

Managing Partner, Executive Chair

Corporate headshot of Rory O’Neill

Mr. O’Neill is Managing Partner and Executive Chair. As founder and Chief Executive Officer from Castlelake’s inception in 2005 until 2024, Mr. O’Neill led the firm’s strategic growth and evolution for approximately 18 years. During his tenure, Castlelake raised more than 18 asset-based investing funds, developed a capital base of more than 200 limited partners and established a footprint of more than 220 professionals across three continents. Mr. O’Neill assumed his current role as Executive Chair in March 2024 and is actively involved in supporting the firm’s overall strategy, working closely with the firm’s executive team as well as institutional investors. He is also a member of its Executive Committee and Investment Review Committee and serves in various other governance and advisory roles within the firm.

As an innovator in alternative investment and early architect of asset-based direct lending, Mr. O’Neill helped develop complex segments of the asset-based private markets and pioneered many investment structures, vehicles and origination approaches. His distinguished investing track record spans diverse economic cycles and geographies. Prior to founding Castlelake, he joined Cargill in 1992 and led various investment activities and groups that in part formed the basis for what is now known as CarVal Investors. At Cargill, Mr. O’Neill initially focused on investing in non-performing loans and corporate distressed instruments in North America. In 1993, he moved to London to help establish and grow Cargill’s European Investment Group. As a founding member of that group, he was responsible for developing and executing its investment strategy in European real estate, loan portfolios and special situations. In 1998, Mr. O’Neill also established and managed Cargill’s Global Credit Strategies business which focused on corporate distressed and special situations investment opportunities on a global scale. He led the expansion of that business across Europe, Asia, Latin America and finally, North America, while continuing to oversee the European Investment Group.     

Mr. O’Neill’s professional contributions include leadership roles within academic institutions: he served on the Board of Trustees of Breck School from 2013 to 2019 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of St. Thomas. He received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in finance where he was a Director’s List member. Prior to business school, Mr. O’Neill was with KPMG as a certified public accountant. He received his B.A. degrees from the University of St. Thomas in business administration and biology, both summa cum laude.