Aerosmith's Tyler croons for BNP's Fillion at NYC parks benefit
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sang "Sweet Emotion" at a benefit in Central Park Monday night. His co-honoree, Jean-Yves Fillion, the chief executive officer of U.S. operations at the French bank BNP Paribas, was more reserved.
Asked if Deutsche Bank pulling back in the U.S. presents an opportunity for BNP Paribas, Fillion said, "My house is made of glass and I'm definitely not casting any stones, but at BNP Paribas we've highly benefited from the good environment over the last few years."
The U.S. represents BNP Paribas's biggest balance sheet allocation after France. On the wholesale side, revenue from New York-based operations has increased to almost $3 billion from $1.3 billion in 2011. Bank of the West, BNP Paribas's San Francisco-based subsidiary, is an active lender in agriculture and the wine industry.
The benefit was for City Parks Foundation, which brings free sports and culture programs to New York City's parks. Its SummerStage series this summer includes a Metropolitan Opera recital at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens and a performance by the Trey Anastasio Trio in Central Park.
BNP Paribas helps fund City Parks Foundation tennis lessons for more than 6,000 children. Fillion has come out to play with the kids, and he's pretty good, said Heather Lubov, the foundation's executive director. "I have a one-handed backhand," said Fillion, who added it was a good thing he wasn't singing at the benefit.
Tyler, who donated his performance with the Loving Mary Band, didn't get a chance to play for long. The threat of lightning ended the show after just two songs, which Fillion enjoyed from his table in front of the stage — wearing a SummerStage poncho. Others caught in the rain after a glorious, if humid, picnic: David Barse of Outvest Capital, John Troubh of Troubh Partners, Tanner Powell of Apollo Management, Jason Flom of Lava Records and the actor and screenwriter Zach Braff, who said he's writing a movie about heartbreak.