CDC Infrastructure gets new head

Pierre Aubouin’s role at the helm of the French institution will involve helping deploy “hundreds of millions of euros” with a focus on France and transportation.

Paris-based Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) has appointed Pierre Aubouin as chief executive (CEO) of its CDC Infrastructure subsidiary, which invests equity and quasi-equity in infrastructure projects.

Aubouin, who also becomes head of CDC’s infrastructure and transportation unit, a part of the institution’s investment and local development division, joins from French nuclear giant Areva, where he served as chief financial executive officer since 2011 as well as chief executive of the company’s Business Support subsidiary since 2012.

He previously worked at the French Government Shareholding Agency (APE), first as head of its aerospace and defence unit, then as head of its services, aerospace and defence division. At APE, he also took part in the creation of the French Strategic Investment Fund with CDC.

Aubouin, 44, succeeds Patrick Vandevoorde, who himself became CEO of CDC Infrastructure only in May last year. Jean Bensaïd, who’d been CEO of CDC Infrastructure since its inception, left to take charge of asset management, Greater Paris and services at CDC-owned, Paris-listed real estate business Icade.

The appointment of Vandevoorde, 60, came a month after Dominique Marcel was named as the fund manager’s chairman.

Formally established in 2009, CDC Infrastructure has invested about €1.1 billion in 20 transportation, energy and telecom assets since its creation. It puts greater emphasis on French and brownfield assets, but is also open to other European markets and has a 30 percent target allocation for greenfield.

“My role will be to steer investments in infrastructure equity assets, with a specific focus on France and on the transportation industry,” Aubouin said in an email to Infrastructure Investor. “Our goal is to invest [] hundreds of millions of euros annually in this field.”

CDC Infrastructure made a splash earlier this year when it invested alongside Paris-based Meridiam Infrastructure in Port of Calais, a €863 million project that also secured support from the European Investment Bank’s Project Bond Credit Enhancement mechanism.

The related concessions, which have a duration of 50 years and encompass both the ports of Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer, reached financial close last month.