leadership

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Angella Rainford

Angella founded Rekamniar Frontier Ventures in 2011. Prior to this, Angella worked at Goldman Sachs in the Merchant Banking division (Principal Investment Area) in London and New York. During her career there, she evaluated and executed corporate and infrastructure private equity transactions and distressed debt investments. 

Prior to joining Goldman, she worked as part of the portfolio team at Sterling Stamos, a private investment management firm which specializes in alternative and multi-asset investment solutions.She began her career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in New York.

Angella has served as an advisor to Helios Investment Partners, a $3.0 billion private equity fund based in London focused on investments in Africa. She is also serves on the Board of Directors for GK Capital Management, the financial advisory and investment arm of the GraceKennedy Group, GK UK Foods and JN Money Services, a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society.  

She served as a Director for EMpower (The Emerging Markets Foundation), a non-profit organization which supports local organizations in emerging market countries that provide at-risk youth with educational, health, leadership, and livelihood resources and training. Angella also served as a volunteer consultant to Technoserve in Ghana. She has travelled to >65 countries and lived on 4 continents.

Angella holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. She also graduated with a BA (magna cum laude) in Government from Harvard College.

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JONATHAN BENSTED

Jonathan is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer specialising in sustainable energy technologies and their development. His work in this field has included engineering consulting, development, construction and operations activities at different stages, on a range of hydro, biogas and marine energy projects.

He is the founder of Hydroventura SpA and Dragon Hydro Ltd which operate propietary hydro generation assets in Chile and the UK respectively.

Other achievements include project directing the implementation of a 16MW-47MW waste to energy power plant, in Santiago, Chile, one of the largest of its kind in Latin America. Previous to this he helped grow the UK Renewable Energy department at engineering firm Black & Veatch. While there he undertook numerous in-depth technical and economic studies for a range of clients including various investors and the UK Government. Early in his career, Jonathan was responsible for the engineering design, management and successful delivery of a water treatment project in Northern Chile as well as numerous other water related infrastructure projects.

Jonathan speaks fluent Spanish and holds a Master of Engineering Science degree from Oxford University.


ADVISORY BOARD

hENRY cornell

Henry Cornell is the Founder and Senior Partner of Cornell Capital LLC. Formerly Vice-Chairman of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Cornell worked at Goldman Sachs for nearly 30 years, and was one of the most senior partners of the firm at the time of his retirement in 2013. 

The Merchant Banking Division manages roughly U.S. $60 billion of global investments. Mr. Cornell was regarded as one of the most successful investors in the history of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Cornell focused on the corporate equity activities of the firm, which is the largest pool of investment capital in the division. 

Mr. Cornell also led all of Goldman Sachs’ investment activities in Asia, where he lived from 1988-2000. Notable transactions that Mr. Cornell directly led were the investments in the Ping An Insurance Company of China, Beijing Orient Plaza,  Pou Chen-Yue Yuen, Giant Bicycle, Mindray, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, ICBC, Sanyo, Japan Telecom, Kinder Morgan, USI, Allied World Assurance Company, Prosight Insurance, MRC, Barrett Energy, among many others.

Mr. Cornell has served on many corporate boards of public and private company’s, and currently sits on the board of MRC, a NYSE listed company focusing on energy and industrial distribution, and is on the International Advisory Board of Sotheby’s. Mr. Cornell is also on the Chairman of the Citizens Committee of New York, a Trustee of The Asia Society. A Trustee and Treasurer of the Whitney Museum, and a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. 

Mr.Cornell received his B.A. from Grinnell College in 1976 and his J.D. from New York Law School in 1981.  

 

STEFFEN KASTNER

Steffen Kastner is a former managing director of Goldman Sachs where he co-headed the Merchant Bank’s credit investing business in Europe.  Mr. Kastner joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 in the Investment Banking division, working in mergers & acquisitions and leverage finance at the firm’s New York and Frankfurt offices. He retired from Goldman Sachs in 2014.

Mr. Kastner joined the Merchant Bank of Goldman Sachs in 1999 where he worked on and led a number of successful private equity and debt transactions including the buy-outs of Wincor Nixdorf and Kabel Deutschland and large credit investments in Brenntag, Com Hem, ConvaTec, Gambro, Molnlycke and Springer Science.

Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Kastner was a research fellow at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. and at Harvard University and worked in the economics department of Deutsche Bank. Mr. Kastner received a PhD in economics from Johannes Gutenberg University and a master degree in business administration (Diplom-Kaufmann) from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management.


TECHNICAL ADVISORS

Paul Nickson

Paul has over seventeen years of experience with the World Bank Group on energy and power transactions. He spent thirteen years at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as Principal Power Industry Specialist and four years with the Energy Department of the World Bank. He has worked on approximately 50 transactions which achieved financial close, representing about 50% of all IFC power deals financed during the period. 

Paul has extensive experience as an energy project developer including the Tajikistan-Pamir Project and the Geometric Power in Nigeria. In addition to his experience as a developer, Paul brings to the team a strong operational track record having been the vice president of a private power company, responsible for arranging EPC contracts, fuel supply agreements, LTSA, O&M contracts, insurance, regulatory consents, and arranging long-term debt. He spent eight years in various managerial positions at an electric utility in Venezuela (Energía Eléctrica de Venezuela) which at the time had 1,200MW installed capacity. He started his career as a field service engineer at General Electric.

He is presently an advisor the World Bank’s Public-Private Infrastructure Facility (PPIAF) and also an advisor to Helios Investment Partners, a $3.0 billion private equity firm focused on Africa. 

Paul graduated from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada with a BSc in Electrical Engineering and has an MBA from McGill University in Montreal.

 

WALTER GRAY III

Walter has extensive experience in renewable energy project, business development, and environmental finance, including 10 years of experience in the energy market. He has worked in the United States, Asia, Africa, and South America on a wide variety of energy projects including hydro power, landfill gas, biogas, biomass, ethanol production, geothermal power, and oil & gas facilities.

Walter was Country Director (Thailand) for EcoSecurities where he managed origination, provided technical guidance on projects in the region, and led the development of biogas projects. In addition, he developed alliances with leading renewable energy developers, equipment suppliers and service providers to enhance project development efforts and to increase business development reach. Most recently, Walter was SE Asia Regional Manager for Project Development at E.ON Climate and Renewable, sourcing and managing investment opportunities in hydro power, biomass, landfill gas, and Waste-to-Energy.

Walter graduated from Brown University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Energy Conversion and Thermal Sciences. He graduated from Stanford University with a MS in Mechanical Engineering.