Cécile Roulier, structurer in the operating assets securisation and project bonds team
Tell us about your background
I graduated from a business school, EM Lyon, where I specialised in Finance after undergraduate studies in French “classe préparatoire”.
I started at Credit Agricole CIB in 2012 with an internship in the Rating Advisory team in Paris. This team’s mission is to help the bank’s large clients in their discussions with rating agencies.
I liked this experience very much and Credit Agricole CIB gave me the opportunity to continue with a VIE (International traineeship) for 18 months as a credit analyst in New York.
When I came back to France I joined the Operating Assets Securitisation and Project Bonds team where I now have been working for one year.
What is the role of the operating assets securitisation and project bonds team ?
Through securitisation our clients have access to large amounts of debt secured by assets. We structure this debt and place part or all of it in the capital markets. Our work is to ensure that the debt’s financial structure and the issuer’s legal structure attract the widest possible Euro or Sterling investor base in order to offer our clients the best possible financing.
At the beginning the team mainly financed the securitisation of operational assets for car, aircraft or train leasing companies that needed to raise substantial debt in order to finance their fleets. The team’s activity then widened to project bonds* to finance infrastructure projects (motorways, harbours, subways, hospitals…) and energy projects (electricity networks, gas facilities, solar farms…).
The issues are the same for asset securitisation and project bonds: to create debt structures secured by assets that are sufficiently isolated from the operational company or the project’s sponsor to obtain a better rating and greater liquidity in the markets.
*Project financing through bond debt
What are your missions as a structurer ?
A structurer’s mission is twofold: to create the financial and legal structure for the debt issued in the capital markets (securitisation, public and private placements), and to sound out the market and its appetite for various debt structures.
My missions within the team are very diverse because while the issues remain the same:
- What entity will issue the debt?
- Should the debt be public or private? Listed or not? Rated or not? and with what specific covenants?
- What potential investors might be interested?
...each transaction is really specific. Indeed, the issuer’s legal and financial structure must take into account the specific legal and tax characteristics of each country and the specific nature of each type of asset for the debt to take full advantage of the security offered by the assets.
How do you spend your days ?
My days are made of meetings with clients, lawyers, investors, banks and rating agencies. I also work with internal teams that are involved with us on the projects: structured finance, quants** and arrangers from the securitisation team, but also the syndicate team that interfaces with the investors.
Before these meetings I also prepare pitches (presentations) for rating agencies, investors and clients to summarise the financial structure and performance of the project or asset portfolio. I also review the financial documentation.
**Quantitative analysts who model the portfolios securitised
What do you like in your job
In my work I like the diversity of the transactions and interlocutors, and the coordination of several teams within the bank or with the client. I also like the transverse nature of our missions that combine “project”, “capital markets” and “operational asset” aspects. The structures’ complexity means that there are various aspects involved (legal, financial, commercial). It is very rewarding.
What do you think are the qualities required for this job ?
To be a structurer you need interpersonal skills. You also need to be able to coordinate various interlocutors within a shared project.