Claire commenced as CEO of the Leapfrog Group in August 2017 having completed a masters’ degree in impact investing for biodiversity conservation.
Prior to coming to England, Claire was CEO and Managing Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation from 2011 to March 2016, having earlier been the Foundation’s General Manager.
Before to joining the Foundation, she spent eight years with Rio Tinto in global strategy and process improvement roles. Claire began her career in finance with BP, in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Europe.
She holds an MBA from INSEAD in France, an MA in International Relations (Environment and Development) from Oxford Brookes University and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (First Class Honours) from Victoria University in Wellington.
Claire is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Honorary Research Associate with the Smith School for Enterprise and Environment at Oxford University.
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 is responsible for nurturing and realising new financing opportunities in the Community Energy sector. Matt has 23 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-op 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£29m 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.