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Nicholas founded the Winch Energy Group in 2008. Winch has successfully developed, constructed and operated over 300MW of solar plants in Europe and is currently focused on the off-grid market having developed world leading off-grid technology with its Remote Power Unit. Winch is developing rural projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Nicholas was also a founding partner of UPC Renewables LLC up to July 2019, a leading global wind power developer with operating businesses in the US, Asia and North Africa, which has developed more than 2,000MW of operating wind projects. Up to July 2017, Nicholas also managed the African platform at UPC culminating in the successful development and construction of a 120MW wind power plant in Khalladi, Morocco.
Prior to founding Winch Energy Group and UPC, Nicholas was a partner at international law firm Clifford Chance (1995-2006) and was European Managing Partner from 2003 to 2006. Nicholas is an English Solicitor and is admitted to the Law Society of England and Wales and also a qualified Italian lawyer.
With over 20 years experience in development, operations and technical management, Salvatore oversees the design and manufacturing of Winch Energy’s power generator and storage technology. He also develops its ICT operation and maintenance systems.
A chartered engineer, Salvatore has worked at Winch Energy for over a decade, developing the African off-grid energy market from the ground up. He has established unique energy distribution and generation business models, which have shaped industry standards.
Having worked in the renewable sector across the UK, Africa and Europe, Salvatore is experienced in international energy project financing, development and management. His expertise spans power trading activities, financing and construction of energy plants, and strategic business development in Africa with specialist knowledge in solar asset management.
Yonatan Shek is Executive Vice-President, in charge of M&A and Corporate Development at Total Eren. A Hebrew University and Harvard Business School graduate, he began his career in the financial and strategic consultancy firm TASC (which operates in the energy sector) before joining Total Eren to coordinate its M&A and fundraising activities.
Fabienne Demol is Executive Vice-President and Head of Business Development at Total Eren. With extensive experience in the energy sector, she worked for Alstom Gas Turbines and Wärtsilä before holding the position of Development Director at EDF EN for 13 years. In that role, Fabienne successfully oversaw the development of 3 GW of wind and solar capacity in more than 12 countries.
Wajahat Rasool is a seasoned financial professional with over 25 years of experience with progressively responsible positions with medium to large scale organizations in multiple business sectors in Asia and Middle east. Wajahat has led strategic financial planning, analysis and ERP implementation, conducted extensive research and data compilation, models and in-depth reports that facilitated the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. He is also serving as member of Board of Directors and Audit Committees of few companies.
Mr. Matsuo has built his entire career and vast experience, within the Japanese Trading and Investment Conglomerate, ITOCHU Corporation. He has been actively engaged in a wide array of businesses, ranging from Commodity Trading to Developing and the subsequent Investment in Renewable Energy worldwide. He has been on the board of directors of several investment companies, playing a key role in their success.
Tom graduated from Durham University in 2012. Tom has 5 years’ experience in the insurance business where his previous role involved managing AIG’s non-affiliate reinsurance portfolio for Africa. Tom has held the role as the head of business development for the Winch group since 2016 and remains a shareholder.
Jack is Vice President of Corporate finance at Winch Energy. He leads the corporate and project funding for the company, as well as working within the business development team to take off-grid projects from concept to financial close. Prior to Winch Jack worked at a solar developer Gemini Renewable Energy. Gemini later became the in-house developer for a $1.2bn pan-African industrial investment group called Quantum Power a subsidiary of Quantum Pacific Capital. Jack holds a Ba in Geography from University College London.
Daniel is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Chartered Global Management with over 20 years’ commercial experience working across diverse industries including financial services, consultancy, recently in manufacturing and off-grid renewable energy sector both in Africa and UK.
He is responsible for the financial control of the Winch Energy Group and to drive best accountancy practice, he has implemented a cloud-based accounting system across the Winch Energy Group, which includes six overseas subsidiaries in Italy and Africa. As well as ensuring that each company within the group complies with various statutory regulations in the respective jurisdictions where the company is situated. He also manages the relationships with stakeholders including external auditors, tax authorities, bankers and investors.
He also actively supports the Corporate Finance team during fund raising and the Business Development team in preparing project bids and tenders.
Chris is Winch Energy’s Senior Business Developer, where he has been responsible for two of Africa’s largest Mini-Grid projects to date in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Chris has 9 years’ experience working in the off-grid sector in Africa, specialising in developing Mini-Grid projects from start to finish. Previously to Winch he worked as researcher at the University of Southampton, where he contributed to various publications and research in the off-grid sector. In total he has contributed to the implementation of over 60 Mini-Grids to date. Chris has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Southampton and a Masters in Sustainable Development from SOAS.
Pierre leads Winch Energy’s projects and businesses in Sierra Leone, motivating the team that implements and maintains the country’s solar mini-grid systems and managing stakeholder relations.
Experienced in business development, in his previous role with Orange, Pierre increased the mobile penetration of multi-national telecommunication from 38% to 60% and achieved revenue growth of 30% year-on-year. As a student, he was presented with the University of Sierra Leone’s Best Graduating Student Award in 2007, when he received a first-class Batchelor’s degree before completing master’s degree in Business Administration.
Pierre believes an economy can only grow in proportion to the level of inclusiveness of essential amenities, such as utilities and financial services, in rural communities. As part of his role, he is working to provide affordable energy to over 40,000 household in northern Sierra Leone.
Alex leads Winch Energy Uganda SMC Ltd and is responsible for day-to-day operations, business development and identifying potential mini-grid sites. He is the key representative for Winch Energy’s activity in Uganda working closely with regional energy sector stakeholders.
With a background in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and over ten years' experience in the East African Energy Sector, Alex is also a qualified Energy Auditor. Involved heavily in project development, he has prepared proposals and Expressions of Interest and participated in negotiations and technical discussions with donors.
Alex has overseen the licence acquisition for 30 mini-grids with many more projects in the pipeline.
Gabriel is appointed by Winch Energy to help manage infrastructure transactions and access international finance for projects. He is also the Managing Director at award-winning business consultancy, GKB Ventures Ltd, which promotes organisational growth through cross border trade.
With more than 40 years’ global banking experience, Gabriel is an expert on securing finance from export credit agencies (ECAs) and the banking market. His specialist knowledge enables Winch Energy to obtain project funding for up to 20 years and to create bespoke, scalable solutions, which support the company’s long-term growth.
Prior to founding GKB Ventures, Gabriel was the Global Head of Barclays ECA & Capex Financing Solutions and assisted the UK government to define strategies for Exporters as commissioner to the Cole Review. He also served as Chairman of the British Bankers’ Association Export & Trade Committee for six years.
Gabriel is a trustee for the National Youth Agency, a UK government appointed charity responsible for youth work and occupational standards.
Olga is Winch Energy’s Ambassador for Africa. A Franco-Beninese entrepreneur, she supports Winch Energy to develop relationships with African governments and improves the company’s viability with local banks, NGOs and global lending institutions. A true expert in her field, Olga is one of the figures of the diaspora that stands out both in France and on the African continent.
Formerly Executive Director of Energies Pour l’Afrique, an organisation which aims to provide affordable energy for all Africans, Olga believes energy access is a fundamental right. She remains a special advisor for the World Energy Foundation (FONDEM) and co-founded the Académie du Développement Durable, which trains specialist infrastructure engineers and technicians.
An ambassador for Women in Africa Initiative, founder of Emancip and elected councilor in Paris in charge of citizen cohesion, she actively campaigns for equal opportunities and the economic empowerment of women.
Working with Winch Energy, her goal is to broaden access to clean, reliable energy to at least 80% of Africans.