French infrastructure fund Meridiam has hired a new chief operating officer for its North American operations and a new senior investment director for its Paris office.
Olivier Garnier, a former managing director for project finance and utilities at monoline Assured Guaranty, becomes Meridiam’s new chief operating officer for North America. Prior to joining the monoline, Garnier was a vice-president at French bank Credit Lyonnais from 1991 to 1996.
Jean François Marco joins Meridiam as a senior investment director from rival Paris-based fund Antin Infrastructure Partners, the energy-focused fund with a target of €1 billion which recently reached second close on €515 million. Marco was a vice-president at Antin for the last two years. Before that, he was a structured finance manager at VINCI Concessions and a financial engineering manager at Bouygues.
Meridiam is currently in the process of raising a second, €1 billion infrastructure fund. Its first, €600 million greenfield infrastructure fund has 16 projects in its portfolio and had a very busy 2009 that saw it participate in many of the year’s flagship deals including Poland’s €1.6 billion A2 highway, Slovakia’s €1.8 billion R1 road and the US’ $2 billion North Tarrant Expressway in Texas.
The fund swept the board at Infrastructure Investor’s inaugural awards for 2009, taking home four trophies, including European Infrastructure Fund Manager of the Year.