Jay Worenklein

     Jay Worenklein "There is greater demand for financing than the project finance market has ever seen," says Jay Worenklein, Managing Director and Global Head of Project and Sectoral Finance, Societe Generale.
     An experienced lawyer, superlative investment banker and world business person, Worenklein has led the charge in recognizing opportunity to put capital to work in a wide variety of infrastructure projects worldwide. He tends to focus on the large opportunities where he can leverage his team's own skills and his company's clout among the institutional and very high net worth investors.
     Worenklein left Lehman Brothers in October of 1996 to join Societe Generale, one of the world's largest banks with over $400 billion dollars in assets and operations in 75 countries, where he joined as Head of Project Finance for the Americas and became Global Head of Project and Sector finance in December 1998.
     Worenklein's group was awarded the designation of Bank of the Year for the Americas by both International Financing Review (IFR) and Project Finance International (PFI) in January 1999 and won numerous deal of the year awards, including for such transactions as the Sincor transaction in Venezuela.
     For the first half of 1999, Worenklein's group catapulted itself to the number 4 spot of Global Lead Arrangers in the League Tables published by Project Finance International.
     "We have arranged some of the largest transactions in the power sector globally. In the US, we are one of the joint lead Arrangers for the largest project financing ever done in the US, the $3 billion financing of the Mission Energy acquisition of the Commonwealth Edison assets," says Worenklein. "In addition, we were among the lead arrangers of the US Generating acquisition of New England Electric System's generating assets (where we also served as adviser), Sithe's acquisition of the Boston Edison assets, and Mission Energy's acquisition of Homer City."
     In addition, Worenklein points out that his group led the major deals carried out in the United Kingdom in 1999, including the acquisition by Mission of the PowerGen assets and BP Amoco's Great Yarmouth power project.
     Worenklein works from three basic premises. First, a global capital shortage exists and has increased yields. Second, western institutional investors, thirsty for high yields. will find those projects offering above average yields within acceptable, but higher, risk levels attractive. And third, his company can play a critical role by finding and financing these projects in the stronger emerging economies with stable and positive expectations.
     Restructuring and competition in the power, energy, telecommunications and infrastructure industries in every region of the world will require more project finance capital and thus provide greater opportunities for project finance practioners in 1999 and beyond than has ever existed before.
     "In the U.S. power sector alone, asset sales and new merchant facilities are likely to require some $20 billion of financing in 1999--far more than has ever been project financed in the United States,"Worenklein points out.
     He adds, that these financings will generally be below investment grade because of the merchant power risk involved and will require lenders to understand the market and pricing dynamics of a competitive power industry. The greater need for capital coupled with the weaker credit profile for the typical issuer will create a great financing challenge and an outstanding opportunity for creative structuring to take acount of the realities of a merchant power market place.