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Ex-UBSW Honcho Making Plans For Boutique At CDC

02 Feb 2003

Ex-UBSW Honcho Making Plans
For Boutique At CDC

Art Penn, the ex-global co-head of leveraged finance at UBS Warburg, has resurfaced at French bank CDC IXIS North America and is said to be looking to set up a middle-market leveraged finance shop, according to BW sister publication Loan Market Week. Penn did not return repeated calls as to his plans, but several market players said he is setting up a leveraged finance outfit. A spokesman for CDC said Penn is working within the ABS group alongside Joe Piscina, former head of asset-backed finance at PaineWebber, but that nothing has been approved and as a state-controlled entity, CDC is very risk averse.

Market players speculate that Penn is doing more than helping out in structured finance. "It is unlikely he wants to be at a French agricultural bank within structured finance," one banker said. " He is working with them to do a middle-market leveraged finance initiative, providing, debt, mezzanine and private equity."

He added, "There is opportunity as a lot of large institutions have dropped out, and this has created a vacuum." Penn has been working on this for some time, as he is waiting for internal approval from the bank, the source added.

Prior to joining Warburg Dillon Read, Penn was head of global fixed income capital markets at BT Alex.Brown. Before that, he was a senior v.p. of capital markets at Lehman Brothers. Penn left UBS last October, following a reorganization. Piscina joined CDC in 2001 with mandate to buy mortgage loans and other debt and packaging it into bonds.

02 Feb 2003