BNP Paribas launches infra debt fund

A new vehicle will extend BNP Paribas Asset Management’s reach into infrastructure debt provision as part of its rapid expansion in private credit.

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has announced it has launched an infrastructure debt fund.

The European Infra Debt strategy has been launched alongside a real estate debt fund, reported by PDI’s sister title Real Estate Capital earlier.

European Infra Debt will invest in secured loans in Europe across transport, social infrastructure, telecoms, renewable energy, conventional energy and utilities. BNPP AM said it will source assets using its open architecture model, investing by direct lending and through bank partnerships, as well as leveraging BNP Paribas Group’s related franchises.

Karen Azoulay joined BNPP AM  last year to head up the infrastructure debt team. She is joined by Pauline Fiastre and Vincent Guillaume who both have a background in providing infrastructure debt from banks where they advised on a range of transactions in different geographies and sectors.

The fund was launched late last year alongside a €1 billion real estate vehicle and is BNPP AM’s first foray into infrastructure debt provision.

BNPP AM said these developments form the latest part of its strategy to develop its private debt and real assets business, which was merged under a single investment group last year and now contains 50 professionals managing assets worth €7.7 billion.

David Bouchoucha, head of private debt and real assets at BNPP AM, said: “Infrastructure and real estate debt have become an essential component of asset allocation for clients looking for stable income from long-dated instruments.  They also offer an attractive risk return profile, with insurers subject to a Solvency II framework additionally benefitting from favourable solvency capital ratio treatment.

“The launch of these strategies is an important milestone in the development of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s global franchise, and they are currently generating significant interest, with commitments from anchor investors and a strong pipeline of further potential commitments.”