M&G Investments has appointed Emmanuel Deblanc as chief investment officer to lead its private markets business, joining from Allianz Global Investors where he was head of private markets.

M&G’s £74bn private markets division invests in private credit, structured credit, impact and private equity, real estate and infrastructure.

A spokesperson for M&G told IPE that private markets investment is “central to M&G’s growth ambitions in asset management”, and that Deblanc’s apppointment is central to its ability to build and develop the firm’s ”innovative propositions for UK and international clients”.

At Allianz Deblanc led and developed the firm’s private markets capability and was instrumental in growing its private debt franchise. Prior to this, he spent nine years at BNP Paribas where, as co-head of its debt advisory and financing team, he led on high profile European infrastructure and energy deals.

Deblanc will report to Joseph Pinto, the CEO of M&G Investments, and will take up his new role on 14 March, based in London.

Pinto said: “I am confident that Emmanuel’s combination of extensive investment experience and a track record of delivery, will help M&G to realise its ambition of being the go-to asset manager for investors seeking exposure to European assets by focusing on high value-add solutions built around client needs, that deliver attractive and sustainable margins.”

Emmanuel Deblanc new CIO M&G private markets

Emmanuel Deblanc at M&G

He added: “Private Markets is central to our asset management strategy as we expect the strong momentum to prevail as long-term investors continue to seek the diversification benefits away from their public markets allocations. Private credit is part of M&G’s DNA and with companies staying private for longer as we emerge from the most aggressive rate hiking cycle in decades, we are extremely well positioned to help clients navigate an opportunity that has rarely been more attractive.”

Pinto noted that large pension funds that can withstand reduced liquidity “still have the potential to lock-in higher returns that typically come with lower volatility”.

For example, he said, in commercial real estate loans there are significant opportunities on the horizon as 30-40% of loans in the UK and Europe are due to be renegotiated by the end of 2025 at much higher rates.

During 2023, M&G expanded its institutional footprint in Europe with new hires as part of its strategy to provide clients on the continent with greater access to its broad range of investment capabilities across both public and private markets, Pinto noted.

He added: “Private markets is an area where long-term investors remain attracted to the diversification benefits on offer, typically with higher returns and lower volatility, and as the opportunities evolve, is an area with the potential to play a key role in impact investing.”

Deblanc said: “The past 15 years have turbocharged the growth of private markets and the next decade is poised to be equally as exciting as the industry evolves to meet the needs of both clients and societies, whether it is by broadening access through tokenisation or by investing in infrastructure, real estate and companies that shape the world around us.”

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