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BNP launches private debt and real assets group

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BNP Paribas Asset Management has created a Private Debt & Real Assets Investment Group, hiring new senior people to strengthen the team. BNPP AM’s Private Debt & Real Assets Investment Group, headed by David Bouchoucha, invests in syndicated loans, direct loans and private bonds that finance corporates or real assets, and consists of three main teams.

The Real Assets, SME (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) Lending and Structured Finance team, headed by Laurent Gueunier, is positioning itself for future growth through the recent addition of three team heads: Philippe Deloffre joined in March as Head of Real Estate Debt, Karen Azoulay (pictured) was appointed Head of Infrastructure Debt in April and Christophe Carrasco joined as Head of SME Lending, in May.

They will complement the existing teams already in place, in particular the Structured Finance team, headed by Stéphane Blanchoz, which currently manages European ABS assets and has a solid track record. The team now comprises 10 dedicated professionals. With these recent developments, BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to accelerate its development across the full spectrum of private debt solutions, after having successfully closed a EUR500 million European SME lending fund in September 2016.

The Global Loans team, headed by Vanessa Ritter is a global platform, comprising 20 dedicated experts in New York and Paris, and specialising in leveraged loan financing. It manages leveraged loan funds and collateralised loan obligations (CLOs), as well as being a market leader in private placements, having launched the Novo fund in 2013. Since 2010 the team has built up a strong track record and experienced a rapid growth in assets, and will continue to expand and innovate in the area of leveraged loans and mid-market financing.

The SME Advanced Solutions is a new team headed by Fabrice Susini, who also recently joined BNP Paribas Asset Management. It consists of an innovative alternative pan-European SME lending platform. The creation of this platform within BNP Paribas Asset Management will enable to offer clients unique access to scale in the direct lending space, by providing a powerful origination engine to ramp up SME loan funds. This team will be reinforced with new hires in the near future, the bank writes.

David Bouchoucha, Head of Private Debt & Real Assets at BNP Paribas Asset Management, comments: “Private debt and real assets are increasingly becoming an essential part of investors’ asset allocation, because they bring steady income and diversification of credit exposure. Within this area we aim to provide value to our clients through a unique ability to source assets by combining the BNP Paribas Group’s origination with innovative external origination channels; a robust process based on strong credit analysis, quantitative techniques, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance); and a broad range of capabilities in order to offer solutions that meet clients’ differing requirements.”

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