The impact of COVID-19, which surfaced in the U.S. over a year ago, continues to shape the global economic backdrop. As a result, many investors have started to reassess their traditional allocations to better align with the opportunity set going forward.  For many credit investors, downside protection, capturing incremental yield premium and the threat of rising rates have become top of mind. To meet these goals, many have turned to the private credit asset class, specifically middle-market direct lending, which, in addition to offering these characteristics, has continued to benefit from on-going secular trends.