Pedro Neves – Executive Board Member, UN Economic Commission for Europe
Responsible for originating and managing over 10 billion USD in infrastructure asset deals in over 60 countries in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Assets deals range from Oil & Gas (upstream and downstream), Power (fossil and renewable in production, transmission and distribution), Environment (water, water treatment & solid waste, Mobility (Airports, Ports, Roads, Railways, Metro), Social Infrastructure (Health, Education, Public Administration), Real Estate and Urban Development, Mining, Industry and Logistics.
Pedro has achieved success managing investment operations, in new ventures, new markets and with new partners due to more than 25 years of experience operating management projects and SPV’s (special purpose vehicles) in the development and exploitation phases. His, 7+ years of experience working with the public sector (United Nations, government and state owned entities) designing and implementing policies for public sector investment have given him a unique perspective on public interest that has been key in originating deals and developing PPPs throughout the world. These activities cover the full life cycle of asset development starting with interpreting infrastructure gaps, analyzing demographics and market tendencies, designing products and business models, defining strategy and aligning goals between share and stakeholders, starting up / reorganizing of management teams, carrying out fund raising (debt, equity, mezzanine), M&A and managing value growth.
Has been lecturing on Business Development Strategy since 2001 and is the founder of the first MBA on Urban Renewal for which he has lectured on Sustainable and Urban Development and Urban Renewal Business since 2010.
Jeremy Oppenheim – Chair, The Blended Finance Taskforce & Managing Partner, SYSTEMIQ
Jeremy was a senior partner at McKinsey until April 2016, where he worked for 24 years serving some of the world’s leading companies in the finance, consumer goods, technology, healthcare and energy sectors. He worked extensively with multilateral development banks, the United Nations and governments in both developed and developing countries.
In 2007, he set up McKinsey’s Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice, supporting ambitious public, philanthropic and private sector clients to put in place low-carbon, resource-efficient strategies. Prior to this, Jeremy worked at the World Bank from 1988-1993, specialising in economic transformation programmes for middle-income countries.
In 2013-2014, Jeremy was programme director of the New Climate Economy project. He sits on a number of non-profit boards, including Global Action Plan (as Chair), the Woods Hole Research Center and Rare (UK). Together with Martin Stuchtey, he is a founder and managing partner of SYSTEMIQ.
Suleiman Kiggundu – Executive Chairman, CFS Group
Suleiman was recently the Regional Director for Africa at CDC Group plc. Established by the UK Government in 1948, CDC is the world’s oldest development finance institution that is currently invested in over 1,300 companies supporting over 1.1 million jobs in various developing countries.
Suleiman is also Executive Chairman of CFS Group, a pan-African financial services group with interests in capital markets, investment banking and private equity. Until early 2014, Suleiman spent 10 years as Group CEO at CFS Group, focused on transforming it into a leading indigenously-owned financial services provider in sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to this, he spent 10 years with the HSBC Group in several senior positions, including Head of Corporate Banking for Sub-Saharan Africa at HSBC Equator Bank plc and Head of Corporate & Institutional Banking at HSBC Bank plc. Coordinating HSBC’s debt and risk advisory offerings in Africa, he personally completed transactions in more than 15 countries across Africa.
Suleiman holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Economics (cum laude) both from Yale University, as well as post-graduate diplomas in banking, finance and corporate governance.
Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante – Head, Blended Finance Unit, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante is the Manager of IFC’s Blended Climate Finance Unit in the Climate Business Department. In this capacity, she manages the unit and its approximately $700 million donor-contributions for climate-smart co-investments in IFC projects. The unit invests in transactions that entail a wide variety of products, such as senior loans, mezzanine financing, equity investments, funds and first-loss structures.
Kruskaia is also the Manager of IFC’s Blended Finance Unit, a governance unit that performs credit review, quality assurance and knowledge sharing functions for all blended finance transactions in IFC. Until 2013, Kruskaia was IFC’s Global Lead Counsel for Climate and Blended Finance and, in this capacity, she was responsible for IFC-wide delivery of legal services in these areas.
Kruskaia holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Economics and Public Policy, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. She was previously an associate at Chadbourne & Parke, LLP, working primarily in project financings in the power sector.
Cyrille Arnould – Head of Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), European Investment Bank
Cyrille Arnould became Head of The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund within the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2009. Previously, he was a Senior Investment Officer in the Africa Caribbean and Pacific department, where he oversaw the development of private equity and microfinance portfolios.
Prior to joining the EIB, in November 2003, he was a Senior Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) SME department, which he joined after four years with IFC’s Financial Markets Group, Sub-Saharan Africa department. He was previously a Senior Investment Officer for the corporation, based in Russia.
Before this, he worked in Russia for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, firstly as Investment Manager for Smolensk Regional Venture Fund and then as Principal Banker in Moscow.
He holds a Diploma from the Political Science Institute and a Master’s in Law from the University of Strasbourg, France, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Ayaan Z. Adam – Director, Private Sector Facility, Green Climate Fund
Ayaan is the Director of the Private Sector Facility. She brings to GCF over 20 years of investment and portfolio management experience with private sector financial institutions, private equity and venture capital across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Prior to joining GCF, Ayaan served as an independent senior advisor to a number of leading sustainable investment institutions, including as a Board Member and Chair of the Board Sub-Committee of Credit and Risk of Oikocredit International.
In addition to serving as Managing Director of Africa Funds at UK-based CDC Group Plc, she spent 17 years at the International Finance Corporation in various senior leadership roles in the headquarters and in the field. Ayaan holds an M.Sc. in Finance and Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management (1994), and Bachelor degrees in mathematics and economics from Clark University (1990).
Olumide Lala – African Programmes Manager, Climate Bonds Initiative
Olumide Lala, is the Africa Programme Manager at the Climate Bonds Initiative. He is responsible for driving the development of Green Bond Markets in Africa, with a particular focus on managing partnership programmes, policy advisory and market structure. Before joining CBI, Olumide Lala worked at the Nigerian Stock Exchange as Head of Transformation and Change, prior to which he held various senior Capital Market roles in the UK working at a number of international organisations.
The Climate Bonds Initiative is an international, investor-focused not-for-profit and the only organisation working solely on mobilising the $100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions.
Olumide comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience of Product Development, Governance & Risk Management, Business Process Re-engineering and Stakeholder Management within the Nigerian Capital Market. He is a senior Change and Programme Manager with over 25 years industry experience in Capital Markets and IT/Business Consulting. Olumide is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) and member of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Nigeria.
Gregor Paterson-Jones – Senior Expert, RECP Africa EU, European Commission & UN SDG Impact Fund, UNDP
Gregor Paterson-Jones heads Investor Relations at UNSIF, and he is a leading expert in the Climate Finance and Social Impact sectors. He acts as a Board member and investment committee member and advisor with clients including the European Investment Bank, the European Union, the UNCDF, Mergence, The African Development Bank and a number of Sovereign Wealth Funds.
With a robust career that spans over 23 years and many proven successes as a principle investor in renewable energy funds and infrastructure investment banking sectors, he focusses on advising development banks, governments and international organisations on fund establishment and deal execution across several key industries. He was previously Managing Director the UK Green Investment Bank, and CEO of Sterling Waterford.
He was educated at Oxford University where he holds a master’s in finance and holds a number of degrees in Psychology, French and Mathematics from the University of Cape Town.
Elena Casolari – Executive President, OPES-LCEF Foundation
Elena Casolari is co-founder and Executive President of the OPES-LCEF Foundation, Trustee and Managing Director of the OPES-LCEF Trust, and chair of the OPES-LCEF Investment Committee. The Opes-LCEF Fund is an early-stage impact fund that provides investment, management and technical support to entrepreneurs whose businesses serve disadvantaged communities. In mid-2017 the OPES Impact Fund and LCEF (Low Carbon Enterprise Fund) merged to leverage their common interests: a focus on early-stage social entrepreneurs; provision of flexible and patient capital plus management support to help these companies thrive and grow, and an enduring focus on low-carbon solutions for disadvantaged populations.
For 10 years Elena was CEO at the INGO, Acra, and before that she spent 12 years in the investment banking industry covering emerging markets. Elena serves as a Director at Fondazione Umano Progresso, Watershop Naivasha in Kenya, the Social Enterprise World Forum CIC in Glasgow, and Social Impact Agenda per l’Italia. After graduating in Management at Bocconi University in Milan, Elena was a Monbusho fellow at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo for two years.
Anne-Marie Chidzero – Chief Investment Officer, FSD Africa
Anne-Marie Chidzero has 25 years’ experience in African financial and private sector development. She is currently the CEO of FSDMoç, the DFID-funded financial sector deepening programme in Mozambique. FSDMoç is a catalytic fund partnering with financial sector stakeholders to develop am inclusive financial market in Mozambique.
Anne-Marie is an internationally known professional in financial and private sector development having worked during the course of her career for the World Bank, DFID and FinMark Trust, as well as other DFIs. She is also very active in the private equity field as CEO of a USD42 million Pan African private equity fund for microfinance, AfriCap Microfinance Investment Company, and in co-pioneering a fund for growth SMEs with a focus on women led businesses anchored by the African Development Bank.
In addition to sitting on Women’s World Banking’s Africa Advisory Council, Anne-Marie is a member of the Advisory Board of Making Finance Work for Africa, as well as the Board and Investment Committee of the USD270m Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund and the Untu Microfinance Bank, Zimbabwe. She is founding member of a Pan African network of Women in Finance, New Faces New Voices.
With Zimbabwean and Canadian origins and fluent in French, Anne-Marie holds a BSc Psychology, McGill University, Montreal and MA Economics, University of Toronto, Canada.