BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME alternative lending platform, completes first UK loan

By Daniel Lanyon on Thursday 7 June 2018

Editor's PickAlternative Lending

The firms new alternative financing platform was established in 2017 within BNPP AM in London.

BNP Paribas Asset Management launches SME alternative lending platform, completes first UK loan
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BNP Paribas Asset Management has completed its first UK loan on its new SME lending platform.

The loan, a six year senior unsecured amortising loan, was made to a specialist recruitment services company based in the West of England.

BNP AM's alternative lending team is led by Stéphane Blanchoz, who has worked at BNP Paribas since 1997. The firm has been on somewhat of a hiring spree of late as it doubles down on private credit and alternative financing. It has added around a dozen members to its team, from various backgrounds linked to SME lending including banking and asset management. Also, its platform entered into a strategic alliance with Caple, an alternative credit specialist digital platform.

BNPP AM says investing in its SME alternative financing offers its client base a "differentiated and unique access" to SME lending as an asset class. It also has a warehousing capacity that enables it to immediately start granting loans, with the typical loan size being between £500,000 and £5m.

The platform is currently operational in the UK with the same business model soon to be deployed in Continental Europe.

The SME Alternative Financing platform is part of the Private Debt & Real Assets investment group, led by David Bouchoucha, one BNPP AM’s four main investment areas.

The platform consists of 50 direct lending specialists and offers distinctive access to direct lending - for corporates, infrastructure and real estate debt. Stéphane Blanchoz, head of SME Alternative Financing at BNP Paribas Asset Management, says the closing of the first loan is a key milestone in the development of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME alternative financing platform.

“It is the culmination of many months of effort by a wide range of teams, both within BNPP AM and externally. BNPP AM has strong ambitions to develop its SME lending capability, including expanding in Continental Europe, in order to provide investors with an attractive and genuinely differentiated investment offering.

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