GE Capital Europe has hired Travers Smith Braithwaite banking partner Kevin Dunn to spearhead a new European asset-backed finance practice.
Dunn has been appointed European legal director at the financial services institution, which is part of GE, the world's largest corporation.
GE Capital already has a major presence in the US market for asset-backed corporate lending, including securitisations and factoring and is looking to build a similar presence in the expanding European market over the next two to three years.
Its European subsidiary, whose management team is based in London – although it has businesses in France, Italy and Germany, is planning to do some “fairly chunky deals” in the asset-backed finance market, according to Dunn.
The company will probably only participate in deals over US$1bn as members of a syndicate.
Dunn – the only UK lawyer on the team – said that the company will recruit other lawyers as the business develops, although he refused to speculate on how many they would take on.
“When cranking out the deals, there will inevitably be a need for more lawyers,” he added.
Describing his departure from Travers Smith Braithwaite after ten years at the firm as “amicable”, Dunn said that he “had wanted to do something different”.
He was attracted to GE Capital Europe as its foray into asset-backed finance in Europe is a start-up.
He said: “I like start-ups – they are very challenging.” He added that when he first joined Travers Smith Braithwaite there was only one banking partner.
As for going in-house, he said that it was something he had rarely considered before as most in-house positions at banks are “fairly straightjacketed”.
However he said that his role at GE Capital Europe was “much more flexible”.