BNP Paribas Asset Management has created a private debt and real assets investment group.

The new entity will bring the company’s real estate debt and infrastructure lending activities together with its wider private debt business.

BNP Paribas AM has recently moved into the two asset classes, having hired Philippe Deloffre and Karen Azoulay in the past three months.

Deloffre, who previously led the real estate debt funds business at Acofi, was appointed head of real estate debt in March.

Azoulay, formerly head of infrastructure at SCOR Investment Partners, was appointed head of infrastructure debt in April.

Both join the real assets, SME lending and structured finance team, headed by Laurent Gueunier.

The team represents one part of the BNP Paribas AM’s new Private Debt & Real Assets Investment Group, which also includes a global loans team and an SME Advanced Solutions team.

David Bouchoucha, who is leading the new business, said: “Private debt and real assets are increasingly becoming an essential part of investors’ asset allocation, because they bring steady income and diversification of credit exposure.

”Within this area we aim to provide value to our clients through a unique ability to source assets by combining the BNP Paribas Group’s origination with innovative external origination channels; a robust process based on strong credit analysis, quantitative techniques, and ESG.”