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BNP Paribas Asset Management to launch UK SME Direct Lending Fund


BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’), the investment management arm of BNP Paribas, announces that it is to launch a vehicle offering clients access to the UK SME (small & medium-sized enterprise) lending market.

BNP Paribas UK SME Debt Fund 1 will invest in senior loans to SMEs with an annual turnover of less than £50 million, which are originated via BNPP AM’s SME Alternative Financing platform.  Utilising proprietary big data technology, together with access to BNP Paribas’ balance sheet and infrastructure, the platform provides SMEs with access to a sustainable and complementary source of funding.

Stéphane Blanchoz, Head of SME Alternative Financing at BNP Paribas Asset Management, comments:

Since the global financial crisis there has been a paradigm shift in the market as new funding models have emerged.  Banks remain a key feature of the SME lending market and investment funds have traditionally been providing financing in the upper end of the mid-market area, while smaller companies are increasingly accessing finance through fintech crowdfunding solutions or peer-to-peer lending.  We are targeting SMEs between these two market segments, where there are opportunities for businesses to contribute to UK GDP growth, but where sustainable funding solutions are limited.

Philip Dawes, Head of UK Sales (UK & Ireland) at BNP Paribas Asset Management, adds:

BNP Paribas UK SME Debt Fund 1 represents an extension to our private debt and real assets capability, an area of continued interest to our clients.  SMEs continue to play an important role in the real economy in the UK, in terms of employment, growth and innovation.  The launch of this fund is therefore consistent with our aim of offering impact investment solutions for our clients, by providing sustainable capital solutions to a segment of the market that remains underserved by other financial solutions.

BNPP AM continues to form strategic alliances to assist in the origination of SME loans as part of its innovative and disruptive business model.  In November 2017 it announced the acquisition of a 10% stake in alternative SME credit specialist Caple, whose proprietary technology platform offers access to a network of around 70 accountancy and advisory firms.  More recently, in July 2018, BNPP AM announced a strategic alliance with CODE Investing, a UK based fintech lending platform.

About BNP Paribas Asset Management BNP Paribas Asset Management is the investment management arm of BNP Paribas, one of the world’s major financial institutions.  Managing and advising on EUR 568 billion of assets (as at 31 March 2018), BNP Paribas Asset Management offers a comprehensive range of active, passive and quantitative investment solutions covering a broad spectrum of asset classes and regions.  With more than 700 investment professionals and around 600 client servicing specialists, BNP Paribas Asset Management serves individual, corporate and institutional investors in 70 countries around the world.  Since 2002, BNP Paribas Asset Management has been a major player in sustainable and responsible investing. Additional information BNP Paribas Asset Management UK Limited, ‘the investment company’, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Registered in England No: 02474627, registered office: 5 Aldermanbury Square, London, England, EC2V 7BP, United Kingdom. This material is produced for information purposes only and does not constitute: an offer to buy nor a solicitation to sell, nor shall it form the basis of or be relied upon in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever or investment advice. This material is issued and has been prepared by the investment management company.  It contains opinions and statistical data that are considered lawful and correct on the day of their publication according to the economic and financial environment at the time.  This document does not constitute investment advice or form part of an offer or invitation to subscribe for or to purchase any financial instrument(s) nor shall it or any part of it form the basis of any contract or commitment whatsoever. This document is provided without knowledge of an investors’ situation.  Prior to any subscription, investors should verify in which countries the financial instruments referred to in this document refers are registered and authorised for public sale.  In particular financial instruments cannot be offered or sold publicly in the United States.  Investors considering subscriptions should read carefully the most recent prospectus and Key Investor Information Document (KIID) agreed by the regulatory authority, available on the website.  Investors are invited to consult the most recent financial reports, which are also available on the website.  Investors should consult their own legal and tax advisors prior to investing.  Given the economic and market risks, there can be no assurance that the financial instrument(s) will achieve its investment objectives.  Their value can decrease as well as increase. In particular, changes in currency exchange rates may affect the value of an investment.  Performance is shown net of management fees and is calculated using global returns with time factored in, with net dividends and reinvested interest, and does not include subscription-redemption fees, exchange rate fees or tax.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. This document is directed only at person(s) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments (‘relevant persons’).  Any investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to and will be engaged in only with Professional Clients as defined in the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority.  Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents.

Quentin SMITH
Media Relations Manager,
United Kingdom