BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has appointed Link Asset Services as the debt servicer for its new SME Alternative Financing platform.
The SME Alternative Financing platform, currently operational in the UK, will invest through direct loans to finance ambitious projects for SME companies, complementing lending by domestic commercial banks to finance their growth. The platform has already successfully closed its first loan in the UK.
Eligible SMEs typically have annual revenue less than €50million. Loans to be originated via the platform are likely to be between €0.5million and €5million.
Longer term, BNPP AM has ambitions to roll out the proposition to other European geographies, and the strength of Link Group's European presence will play a key role in supporting this expansion.
Robbie Hughes, Chief Executive at Asset Services, part of Link Group said: “As institutions search for yield, this platform provides them with an opportunity both to deliver excellent returns and play a central role in stimulating UK growth. SMEs are the engine room of our economy, so increasing their finance options and supporting their growth can only be a positive. We look forward to supporting the growth ambitions of BNP Paribas Asset Management, both in the UK and eventually Europe, and in doing so, supporting the SME sector.”
Stephane Blanchoz, Head of SME Alternative Financing at BNP Paribas Asset Management added: “We are hugely ambitious with regard to our new SME Alternative Financing platform and it is great to find a partner that shares our vision. Link Group has a wealth of expertise across Europe which means that they were the perfect fit to support this fund and our growth strategy for it. Our new lending programme will contribute much needed finance diversification for UK and European SMEs, and Link Group is central to making it a success.”
Link Group’s Asset Services division is Europe’s largest independent debt servicer and administers and safeguards €100bn of assets. With experience of managing loans in 15 jurisdictions, their dedicated team of over 700 works with acquirers and originators of secured and unsecured loans across the UK and Europe.