Prudential Capital opens office in Milan

The lending business of the listed insurer, Prudential Financial, cements its position in Italy with a new office.

US private debt firm Prudential Capital Group has opened a new Milan office, reflecting an increased commitment to the Italian mid-market, the firm said in a statement.

Francesco Ascoli, associate at Pricoa Capital Group, the name by which the group is known in Europe, will be the primary point person in the new office, a spokesman for Prudential told PDI. Ascoli was hired by Prudential in London a year ago and reports to Joshua Shipley, senior vice president, in Chicago.

The Milan office opening continues efforts to build relationships with and provide long-term capital to strong Italian mid-market companies and expand its presence in Europe, Prudential said.

The investment firm has had a presence in Italy for more than a decade, with a greater focus over the last five years, it said, and has a current portfolio of about $1.5 billion through lending relationships with 15 companies.

“Given the strong roster of impressive family-controlled and middle-market companies in Italy, we believe our approach of relationship-based lending fits well in this region. We are able to provide a valuable alternative to traditional bank financing,” Marie Fioramonti, managing director and head of Pricoa Capital Group, said in a statement.

“We have stood by this market through the global economic crisis and eurozone economic crisis, and we are looking to continue building on existing relationships and creating new ones,” explained Shipley.

Pricoa has been investing in Italian corporates throughout the economic and Eurozone crises, it said. Initally the new office will house one investment team, with room for further expansion, dedicated to serving the needs of Pricoa’s clients in the region.

“Opening this office allows us to be physically closer to our existing clients and offers greater flexibility in hiring local professionals who understand the market, helping us to meet our clients’ needs,” Fioramonti said.

Prudential Capital provides private debt, mezzanine and equity securities to companies globally and manages a portfolio of $71.6 billion. In addition to Milan, it has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, N.J., New York, Paris and San Francisco.

Prudential Financial has $1 trillion of assets under management as of 31 December 2014.