Board of Trustees
Susanne Denison-Knowles, Company Secretary
A lawyer by academic background and a banker by profession, the key areas of expertise that Susanne brings to Pure Leapfrog are Finance, Corporate Governance and Public Policy. Susanne worked for Citigroup in Europe for over 17 years; most recently as part of the regional, board level, Executive Team and Head of European Public Policy. Previously she was a Manager and Senior Originator of structured cross-border asset finance transactions (focussing on energy and utilities). Prior to that, Susanne worked internationally in corporate finance for Austria’s Bank Austria – now part of the Italian Unicredit Group – where she built a successful track record completing value added finance transactions for public sector and corporate clients across a range of industries and EU markets.
Susanne is bi-lingual in English and German and holds a Doctorate of Law from the University of Vienna. She is married and has one child.
Shelagh Kirkland, Treasurer
Shelagh is a chartered accountant who has worked for over 10 years in the power and infrastructure lending team at Investec Bank. Previously she was the Company Secretary of a small company specialising in corporate and project finance. She has a broad range of banking and accounting experience and currently provides initial and ongoing client support to UK and overseas clients ranging from covenant monitoring, financing requests and ensuring information and compliance requirements are satisfied. Shelagh was Treasurer of the Volunteer Centre Southwark until its merger with Community Action Soutwark in 2015, whose mission is to make volunteering easy and is a volunteer for the Royal London Society for the Blind on their Sports without Limits initiative to involve blind and partially sighted people in sport.
Mark Henderson, Trustee
Mark is an experienced power sector financier, specialising in renewable energy project finance for the last 15 years. At investment manager Temporis Capital he continues to lend to the sector from a £200m debt fund backed by the UK government’s Green Investment Bank and KKR. With experience of private equity at LDC, the UK's leading mid-market PE house, Mark was previously at Investec Bank, where he established their Power & Renewable Energy project finance team. This team won mandates to provide over €1 billion of debt facilities and pioneered mezzanine lending in the renewable energy sector, financing over 1,000MW of renewable energy projects across Europe. Mark began his career at Kleinwort Benson (later Dresdner Kleinwort), advising and lending to many landmark transactions in the power sector across South America, South-East Asia, North Africa and Europe, before joining Société Générale where he initiated their lending to renewable energy, restructured distressed power projects and worked on asset acquisitions in the power sector.
Garry Charnock, Trustee
Garry Charnock is the instigator of the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, a community-led initiative that is trying to help this small Cheshire community to become England's first carbon neutral village. He obtained backing for the project from the Parish Council in November 2005 and organised its official launch in January 2006. Since then the project has attracted widespread support from the local community and from The Universities of Chester and East Anglia, Local Government, numerous businesses and the media. The village has now linked with over 1000 like-minded communities around the world and featured in the 2007 Live Earth concert and in the Financial Times. Since 2006 the project has inspired behavioural change and residents have saved an average of 23% on their energy use with some saving 50%. It is cited as an exemplar community in the White Paper on climate change issued in July 09 and the 2013 Community Energy Strategy. The project also won the IVCA Clarion Award for Climate Change Communications and the Energy Institute’s Community Initiative Award in 2007. In 2011, Garry was selected by Climate Week as Inspirational Leader of the Year. He is a chartered environmentalist and engineer by background and an experienced technical journalist. He also sits on the board of the RSK Group. He was a former CEO of the Carbon Leapfrog Charity.
Stephen Nash, Trustee
Stephen is a chartered accountant who has 10 years of experience advising clients in the energy sector. Until recently a Senior Manager in Baringa Partners’ Energy Advisory team, Stephen is now working as an independent advisor in the sector, with a particular focus on emerging markets. Stephen’s provides commercial, regulatory and financial advice to energy companies, often during a transaction process. Stephen has led the commercial and regulatory due diligence and has advised lenders on many recent transactions in the GB power sector. He has also led advisory work on transactions both in Europe and globally. Stephen’s experience extends across the energy value chain, but is focused on renewable energy and low carbon technologies.
Richard Croft, Trustee
Richard has worked in a variety of commercial roles in major organisations over the last 20 years. Having started out working within the Financial Times group, Centrica, a start-up advertising agency, and an environmental project for the UN, he has spent the last 15 years working within the professional services sector, managing commercial and client facing teams at HayGroup, PA Consulting, Complinet (now part of Thomson Reuters) and currently as the Head of Marketing (EEMEA) at Linklaters where he has held various roles over the last 6 years. This varied and often challenging background has enabled Richard to develop knowledge and experience across most aspects of marketing, business development, communications and general commercial management. Richard is married and lives in Twickenham with his wife and two boys.