French advisory firm hires banker in infra push

07 October 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

A PBB Deutsche Pfandbriefbank banker has joined a French advisory boutique focused on derivatives to support its expansion into infrastructure, a source close to the process said.


PBB’s managing director for infrastructure finance Damien Legrand (pictured) joined derivatives specialist Ester Finance on Monday (7 October) as a director. His role is expected to strengthen Ester Finance’s activity in the management of interest rate and FX risks and hedges in infrastructure, renewable energy and real estate projects.


It is part of the firm’s plan to increase the number of transactions in these three sectors, on the back of a several project finance deals it supported in recent years, the source said.


These included advising the Paris City on the Bercy Arena refinancing, as well as the State on the Helios prisons PPP project – whose refinancing was also supported by PBB. It also previously advised on the refinancing of several French wind farm projects.


Ester is led by three partners – the former head of fixed income derivatives of Ixis CIB (now Natixis) Stephane Kourganoff and ex Goldman Sachs bankers Elsa Sitruk and Damien Liebaut.


Before joining Ester, Legrand worked for 10 years at PBB, supporting social and transport PPPs including the Beauvais bypass PPP refinancing earlier this year, and the Reims events centre PPP in 2018.


Before that, he was a director at Depfa’s infrastructure finance business for nine years.


Legrand and Ester Finance did not respond to requests for comment.


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