What is your current role at BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM)?

Since 2017, we have
financed up to
EUR 350m of assets
aligned with ESG
taxonomy

As Head of Infrastructure Debt for BNPP AM, my role is to finance real assets that provide a vital asset or service to the community. This covers sectors such as renewable energy, digital or transport. The idea is to identify and select investments: that is to say, to discuss with key players such as banks, who act as lenders to these infrastructure projects. Being part of a large European banking group like BNP Paribas, which is a major player in infrastructure financing, gives us privileged access to a portfolio of projects even though we also work with other banking players. We are equally in direct contact with the equity investors who develop the projects underlying our financing, or their financial advisors. Since my arrival in 2017, we have financed up to EUR 350m of assets aligned with our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) taxonomy. The next generation of funds being launched will also be aligned, with an additional impact target.
This ultimately allows us to offer infrastructure debt funds to our clients that provide yield and diversification while being ESG virtuous.

Since 2017, we have
financed up to
EUR 350m of assets
aligned with ESG
taxonomy



What was your professional experience before joining BNPP AM?

I started my career at KPMG, then I joined an origination, structuring and project finance advisory team in a banking group where I remained for about ten years. I specialised in renewable energy. Afterwards, I joined a management company where I was able to participate in the first generation of private debt funds in infrastructure. With this dual experience in banking and asset management, I joined BNPP AM to create and develop this activity within the Private Debt and Real Assets (PDRA) team.

The
interview

You mention renewable energies. Is this an area of particular interest to you due to personal interests?

WE FINANCE TANGIBLE
ASSETS THAT PROVIDE
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
SUCH AS ELECTRICITY,
TRANSPORT OR
BROADBAND INTERNET

Financing tangible assets that provide an essential service such as electricity, transport or broadband internet is exciting because it is both highly diversified and embedded in the economy. Financing renewable energy is about meeting a demand for clean energy. We provide this essential service by financing environmentally friendly assets. I chose this field because it was meaningful for me, emblematic of the positive role the financial community plays in the face of the climate change challenges, and with the crisis we are going through, it is even more topical.

WE FINANCE TANGIBLE
ASSETS THAT PROVIDE
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
SUCH AS ELECTRICITY,
TRANSPORT OR
BROADBAND INTERNET



Are you witnessing a true shift towards sustainability in the world of finance?

In managing investment funds, I see this in two ways: on the active side, since all the major players in the market who invest or lend are increasingly integrating these ESG aspects. I also manage liabilities, for which we raise funds. Of course, this is also guided by the growing appetite of institutional investors for this type of theme and therefore for assets that meet ESG criteria.

Thus, we are developing a real approach to know what is sustainable and what is not, in order to be able to focus our strategy on concrete elements. For us, the objective is to finance the energy transition and, more generally, the transition from a carbon-based economy to a more virtuous, greener economy. For example, we are interested in helping cities plan and finance green mobility through the development of electric charging stations.

We are also interested in the subject of smart cities, which affect the transport, energy and telecoms sectors, such as networks and smart meters. It is important for us, to invest in this type of asset and to think about subjects that impact our daily life.

How would you describe this working environment and its quest to make finance greener?

WE HAVE AN ESG
METHODOLOGY
DEDICATED TO OUR
STRATEGY THAT ALLOWS
US TO OBTAIN AN
ESG SCORE FOR EACH OF
OUR ASSETS

We are fortunate to have the support of our Sustainability Centre1 on a daily basis to integrate ESG aspects into our investment policy. They have been instrumental in developing an ESG methodology dedicated to our strategy that allows us to obtain an ESG score for each of our assets. We complement this assessment with a social and environmental impact analysis for each investment, produced by an independent expert. It is quite rare to have such a specialised team available to work on these issues.

WE HAVE AN ESG
METHODOLOGY
DEDICATED TO OUR
STRATEGY THAT ALLOWS
US TO OBTAIN AN
ESG SCORE FOR EACH OF
OUR ASSETS



Does investing in sustainable assets also make economic sense in the more or less long term?

Yes, of course. It’s not just a question of ticking a box. Investors are clearly aware that ESG will have an increasing impact on the cash flows of their investments and therefore on the value of these assets in the long term. It is therefore important to take into account these criteria, which we call extra-financial, especially as we are investing over long periods of time, ranging from 20 to 30 years. Taking ESG aspects into account in this type of financing is therefore essential.



Do you believe that finance has a role to play in building the world of tomorrow?

Our sector is already preparing and financing the world of tomorrow. I am delighted to be part of this future-oriented financial sector. When you invest for the long term, you have to think about what the world will be like tomorrow. And with the health crisis we are experiencing, the importance of investing in the sustainability and virtuousness of assets is even more predominant.

TAKING ESG ASPECTS INTO ACCOUNT
IS ESSENTIAL AS WE ARE INVESTING OVER
LONG PERIODS OF TIME

1 In 2017, we created the Sustainability Centre, which is now a 25-person, multi-disciplinary expert group which provides investment teams with sustainability research, analysis and data. The Sustainability Centre also supports teams in developing sustainability-themed products and fully integrating sustainability-related risks and opportunities into investment strategies.

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experts