Allied Irish Bank has hired Vaughn Buck, a project finance pro from NRG Energy, to bolster its emerging project finance team in North America. AIB has been operating for a while in Europe, but the project financing capabilities are being extended to the U.S., said Paul Carey, director, corporate banking for AIB in New York. The recently established team of 12, set up about a year ago, concentrates on acquisition finance, leveraged finance, and is moving up in project finance, he said. AIB has already participated on some deals, but is indicating a long-term commitment to the market, while the sector is facing some short-term problems, he said.
A rival banker thought now could be a good time to make a move as U.S. firms analyze exposure, but said, "unfortunately the whole market is falling apart. Enron is having worse repercussions than anybody could imagine. Accounting concerns are not helping, the banker said. "People are antsy because they saw what happened to Enron."