La Banque holds €500m first close for debt fund

La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM) has raised €500 million in a first close for a debut hybrid infrastructure and real estate debt fund.

La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), the asset management arm of French bank La Banque Postale, has raised €500 million in a first close for a debut hybrid infrastructure and real estate debt fund.

The innovative vehicle LBPAM's is structured as two separate sub-funds: an infrastructure sub-fund targeting social infrastructure, transport, utilities and green investments; and a real-estate sub-vehicle looking to invest in office, retail, residential and logistics. The capital will be allocated across the two asset classes on a roughly 50/50 basis.

The funds will provide senior debt and target the European primary and secondary markets, particularly Western Europe. LBPAM's new debt team was recruited last summer and is spearheaded by René Kassis, the long-time, Paris-based former head of infrastructure at Dexia – a veteran banker with some two decades of project finance experience.

Kassis said: “We have crossed an important threshold with this first closing. We are starting the investment phase while continuing to raise funds from our institutional clients, as the subscription period remains open for the next 9 months. We have already identified investment opportunities that should offer attractive returns from quality assets to our clients.”

In addition to Kassis, the team also includes Pierre Saeli, principal for real estate debt; Pierre Bonnet, principal for infrastructure debt; and chief operating officer Irène d’Orgeval.

Sources close to the fund explained that, whilst the two sub-vehicles are completely separate, the team fundraises as one, to allow for positive spillover when pitching the fund to limited partners from the two asset classes.

LBPAM has €137.5 billion of assets under management and, according to the firm, is the fifth largest asset manager in France.