As Société Générale continues to bulk up U.S. operations, it named Arnaud Achour as head of capital markets and syndicate for the Americas last week. He oversees regional activity in equity and debt capital markets, private placement, as well as high-yield and loan syndication.
Achour, who was the global head of debt capital markets origination in London, has started in New York and reports to Bill Schmid, head of coverage and capital raising and financing for the U.S. This is a new position and although Achour does not replace Neil Parekh, formerly global head of high-yield finance and head of U.S. debt capital markets who left the firm for personal reasons (CIN, 9/25), he will assume some of Parekh's responsibilities.
The firm began ramping up leveraged finance and lending last year after more than a four-year absence in the U.S. marketplace (CIN, 1/13/2006). It has hired a number of players for its staff including Michael Finkelman from BNP Paribas to head leveraged finance (3/31) and Mark London, who is now deputy head of capital markets and syndicate reporting to Achour (9/25).
Achour anticipates the platform will be growing about 20% this year. It is unclear how many people are currently on the ground. He said the firm will not be hiring a full team out of another bank. It will continue to focus on areas the bank is currently in, including oil and gas, gaming, lodging and real estate, and media and telecom, among others. "We already have a number of successful niche businesses in New York and a number of sectors we are successful in...we already have a nice platform. This is clearly exciting for me," said Achour.
Before joining Société Générale, Achour worked in New York for four years at Caisse des Depots et Consignations, now Natexis Corporate & Investment Bank.