BNP Paribas appoints new loan syndication head

Didier Leblanc will transfer from Europe in June to take up his new position in the Asia-Pacific.
BNP Paribas has appointed Didier Leblanc as head of loan syndication in Asia-Pacific. Leblanc, who is currently head of origination for French corporates within the bankÆs European loan syndication team, will take up his new position in June.

Loan syndication is one of three business areas under BNP ParibasÆ Asia-Pacific structured finance division. The other two are corporate and leveraged finance, and media and telecom finance.

Relocating to Hong Kong from Paris, Leblanc will report directly to Clarence TÆao, who was promoted to head of structured finance in Asia-Pacific in December. Prior to that, TÆao headed up BNPÆs loan syndication and acquisition finance businesses, and Leblanc is effectively filling the seat within the loan business that was left vacant by his new boss at the end of last year.

Leblanc will be focusing on syndicated loans, but given the close relationship between the three business areas, he will find use for the experience within acquisition and leveraged finance that he has accumulated as head of loan orignation in France, where this type of financing dominates. His background makes him well suited for his new job, says TÆao.

ôDidierÆs experience in the European market and his extensive involvement in the syndication of acquisition finance transactions will further strengthen the bankÆs involvement in acquisition finance in Asia,ö TÆao says.

Given how active the private equity firms are already and the amount of money they are raising, the market for leveraged buyouts will increase, he projects, adding: ôFor the past couple of years we have been building our franchise within acquisition and structured finance in anticipation of strong growth in this business.ö

LeblancÆs appointment will also solidify BNP ParibasÆ existing strong foothold as one of the top arrangers of syndicated loans in the Asia Pacific region, the firm says. According to Dealogic, BNP ranks fourth among syndicated loan bookrunners in Asia ex-Japan so far this year.

Leblanc has been with the bank since 2001. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, he worked in London and Paris with another international financial institution, picking up various experience in loan syndication and corporate lending.
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