FRANCE – The €137.5bn French asset management company La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM) has reached a first closing for its new infrastructure and real estate debt fund, securing investments from insurance companies and pension funds.

After Legg Mason Global Asset Management announced this week it was set to launch a UK-domiciled infrastructure debt fund, now comes the turn of LBPAM to make a similar move.

LBPAM has secured €500m of commitments from insurers and pension funds for the first closing of its first debt fund.

The fund will invest in social housing, transport, utilities and renewable energies, as well as real estate projects such as office, retail, residential and logistics.

René Kassis, fund manager at LBPAM, said the firm would start the investment phase in the coming weeks, while continuing to raise fresh capital from institutional investors.  

The fundraising process will remain open for the next nine months.

The fund will target European senior debt in both primary and secondary markets, mainly in Western Europe.

In June last year, LBPAM appointed a new team in charge of launching the new debt fund.

The team comprises four experts: René Kassis, fund manager; Pierre Saeli, manager specialised in real estate debt; Pierre Bonnet, manager specialised on infrastructure debt; and Irène d'Orgeval, COO.

The French regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financier (AMF), approved the launch in September last year.