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Och-Ziff CFO: No plans yet to change corporate structure

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC currently has no plans to convert into a corporation, according to CFO Alesia Haas.

Alternative asset managers have been mulling restructuring their businesses since the overhauled U.S. tax code went into effect as a means of attracting new investors and growing share prices. Och-Ziff competitor Ares Management LP announced that it was planning to move forward with the change Feb. 15.

The company wants to "fully evaluate the long-term consequences" of tax reform before deciding on whether to make such a change, Haas said Feb. 16 during a fourth-quarter 2017 earnings conference call.

Och-Ziff is coming off a quarter in which it reported distributable earnings of $149.4 million, or 27 cents per adjusted class A share, for the fourth quarter of 2017, up from $7.5 million, or 1 cent per adjusted class A share, in the prior-year period. In 2017, the company also saw total outflows of $7.6 billion, compared with inflows of $37.9 billion in 2016.

The company has also recently undergone a leadership shakeup as Robert Shafir took over as CEO on Feb. 5, succeeding the company's founder and chairman, Daniel Och. Shafir comes to the company after having led Credit Suisse's Americas business. Och will remain with the company as chairman of the board through March 2019.

Shafir said during the call that the hedge fund is well-positioned as long as it is able to focus on its core business such as its multi-strategy, credit and real estate products.

"Interest in alternative asset management products might actually pick up in a, perhaps, rising interest rate and higher volatility environment," he said.