Meet the Team
Paul Gilligan - CEO
Paul took up the position of CEO in November 2020, having previously led on all aspects of Pure Leapfrog’s Innovation Programme. Paul’s career has included work in Financial Services, Technology, and Energy; at times mixing two or more of these recurring themes.
Immediately before joining Pure Leapfrog, Paul was working on energy innovation projects for domestic energy supply companies in the UK. He brings with him, a deep understanding of energy transition, emerging technologies, energy systems and approaches to decarbonising the grid.
Paul has spent much of his career working in the charitable and social enterprise sectors. He has led teams and organisations in both settings in the past, and is passionate about organisations that have a positive impact.
Barbara Sanderson - Operations Director
Barbara has spent more than 20 years working internationally in senior roles within investment management, specialising in product development, commercial strategy and marketing.
Driven by the conviction that investment can be a force for good, Barbara’s experience includes advising an impact investing consultancy Profit & Non-Profit Finance. She joined Pure Leapfrog from Climate Bonds Initiative, a leading green finance non-profit organisation. Prior to which she was involved in the launch of an innovative green bond fund with Lombard Odier and Affirmative Investment Management.
Barbara served as Trustee of the Youth Charter, a charity aiming to deploy the ethics of sporting and artistic excellence in addressing a variety of social issues. She also served as Vice-Chair on the Paris Committee of 100 Women in Finance, a global professional association.
Barbara gained an MA in Linguistics from the English Department of Warsaw University and a degree in Marketing and Management from Kozminski University. Barbara is a qualified Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst (CAIA).
Laura Wilson - Head of Community
Laura returned to the Leapfrog team in 2018, having previously worked in our advisory group prior to her maternity leave.
Initially overseeing the British Airways Carbon Fund, she helped deprived communities to apply for and benefit from funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in community buildings in the UK and internationally.
From the commencement of 2019, Laura added coordination of our joint venture, Leapfrog Launchpad to her workload. She liaises with the joint venture partners, communities and organisations wishing to benefit from Launchpad support, guiding them through the process.
Steven Hassall - Head of R&D
Steven has 12 years of experience working in the energy sector working for consultants and developers of energy projects across a wide range of conventional and renewable technologies. Coming from a technical background with a degree in engineering Steven began his career consulting on large gas, coal, biomass and CHP projects with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now WSP) advising developers and owners of energy assets. Steven then worked for RES Ltd developing large biomass and wind projects in the UK before moving to Eole RES to manage construction of windfarms in France.
After recently completing a diploma in Economics and Masters in finance Steven has joined Leapfrog where he hopes to apply his experience in energy projects and finance to his passion for community and economic development.
Chris Matthews - Senior Advisor
Chris Matthews has more than 40 years of finance experience including over 20 years specialising in the financing of technology in the low carbon sector. While heading up The Co-operative Bank’s renewable energy lending operations, Chris’s team delivered more renewable energy projects than any other financing organisation in the UK, with £800m related to renewables and low carbon technologies.
Since joining Leapfrog Finance, Chris has helped finance more than 23MW of renewable energy into community hands and adding over £10m in community benefit.
Matt Andrews - Director of Project Finance, Leapfrog Finance
Matt is responsible for nurturing and realising new financing opportunities. Matt has 24 years’ experience in the finance and banking sector with over 10 years in the Co-op Bank’s respected Renewable Energy and Asset Finance team. He provided over £300m of project finance to a portfolio of onshore embedded generation projects across a number of technologies (Onshore Wind, Hydro, AD and CHP) helping to build the Co-operative Bank’s £800m book. Often working in specialist teams he has experience in Corporate & SME finance, Project Finance, Receivables Finance, Block Discounting and Asset Finance.
Since joining Leapfrog Finance Matt has financed c£46m of ground mounted solar PV schemes for communities in areas of significant deprivation, with a focus on maximising the community benefit funds being generated for those communities. His current focus is on developing new finance models to support Community Energy projects in a post-subsidy Britain.
Daniel Farrelly - Accounting and Project Finance Officer
Daniel joined the Leapfrog Team in July 2019 as a Graduate Financial Analyst, having graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in Accounting and Finance Graduate. He completed a 12 month placement at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions as their Finance Planning and Analysis Intern as part of his studies.
Daniel is developing his knowledge of renewable energy finance and accounting including financial modelling, deal delivery, deal accounting and reporting. He is an aspiring Management Accountant and will be pursuing a full qualification in CIMA whilst at Leapfrog.
Daniel is a Liverpool native and is a big fan of Liverpool Football Club.
Steph Lake - Social and Environmental Impact Officer
Steph is a recent graduate from the University of Sheffield where she studied Geography and Environmental Science (BSc First Class Honours). For her dissertation research, which has subsequently been nominated for the Royal Geographical Society (IBG) Rural Geography Award, Steph researched the drivers of deforestation in Malawi, its multiscale impacts and assessed the efficiency of its mitigation strategies.
Steph is passionate about climate justice and sustainability, with the knowledge acquired from her course, combined with her experience as NUS National Sustainability Ambassador, providing her with a detailed awareness of the intricacy and expanse of the current social and environmental challenges climate change presents.
Steph hopes to utilise her multidisciplinary and holistic approach, to assess the processes and progress of the social and environmental impact of Leapfrog projects. Steph has worked as the Operations Assistant and has recently transitioned to Social and Environmental Impact Officer.
Isabella Stevens - Social Media Officer
Isabella is a recent graduate of Imperial College London, having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, with a focus on climate change, ecology and the management of natural resources. She is passionate about building profitable commercial projects for a sustainable future, and how these ideas can be communicated to the public via different media platforms. Isabella believes that climate change is a global problem with an interdisiplinary solution, and communication is important to achieving this.
Simon Shutler - Financial Controller
Simon is an FCCA with 35 years of experience, primarily from the charity sector. After serving 5 years in practice, Simon worked in the telecommunications industry and a pioneering producer of energy efficient lighting. Simon then moved to the third sector and joined an international membership organisation where he worked for 25 years.
Simon was a successful rugby coach in Girls Rugby coaching for Hertfordshire and East Region, he also served as a Hertfordshire referee for nine years.
Having recently moved to Snowdonia, Simon now divides his time between working for a local sensory loss charity and Pure Leapfrog.