American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., based in West Des Moines, announced Thursday it has made a $1 billion investment in a dedicated technology lending platform developed by Monroe Capital LLC, a Chicago-based boutique asset management firm specializing in private credit. The new lending platform focuses on middle-market software, technology and recurring revenue (STARR) loans originated and underwritten by Monroe. “Our commitment to the STARR strategy demonstrates the ability of our investment platform to find assets that generate attractive investment income on a risk-adjusted basis,” said Jim Hamalainen, chief investment officer of American Equity. “We are excited to partner with Monroe, whom we view as a best-in-class partner, as we build toward our long-term strategic asset allocation to private assets.” Under the terms of the agreement, American Equity and Monroe will work together to scale the technology lending platform with third-party investors, including other insurance companies, through structured products based on the STARR lending platform. Anant Bhalla, CEO of American Equity, said he views STARR as a “vibrant subsector of the U.S. economy, similar to where the health care sector was about a decade ago.” It’s the second major deal announced this week by the West Des Moines-based company. On Tuesday, American Equity announced a deal to provide financing and capital support for Pretium in Pretium’s acquisition of Anchor Loans, along with $1 billion in loan purchases.