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Best project finance house

Royal Bank of Scotland

Few global project finance players successfully weathered the storm in the US project finance market. Perennial winners SG and Citigroup, for instance, have both been forced to take over US assets that they lent against. Both of their project groups are now under new management ? SG?s Jay Worenklein runs his own power investment firm and Citi?s Chris Beale has moved to a new position covering equity products and environmental risk.

But Royal Bank of Scotland has recently been bulking up its New York team, and when Dealogic completed its 2003 project finance figures it had emerged at the top of the mandated lead arranger tables. With $3.46 billion arranged for 24 projects, it edged slightly ahead of the combined Crédit Lyonnais/Crédit Agricole haul, and $1 billion ahead of Citigroup, in third.

RBS?s team, led by Thomas Hardy, is also one of the few that could plausibly claim to be a full-service infrastructure finance shop. Bar Citi, few investment banks show great interest in the product unless a bond underwriting mandate is up for grabs. Bank consolidation has left the infrastructure developer with ever fewer debt providers.

RBS?s project finance capabilities essentially come out of a marriage of two teams.

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