Blackstone and its portfolio company, Fisterra Energy, said on Wednesday that General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and Lars Thunell, former International Finance Corporation CEO, have joined Fisterra’s board of directors. General Clark and Thunell will also serve as senior advisors to Blackstone, focusing on the firm’s private equity activities in the energy sector.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and Fisterra Energy (“Fisterra”), a company owned by funds managed by Blackstone on behalf of its private equity investors, today announced that General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and Lars Thunell, former International Finance Corporation head, have joined Fisterra’s Board of Directors. Earlier this year, Blackstone, together with a management team led by Pedro Barriuso, the former Executive Chairman of Element Power and former head of Iberdrola Renewables, formed Fisterra to identify, develop, finance, construct and operate large-scale independent power projects, with a focus in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
General Clark and Lars Thunell will also serve as Senior Advisors to Blackstone with a focus on the firm’s private equity activities in the energy sector.
Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “We are thrilled to welcome both General Clark and Lars Thunell to the team. General Clark’s experience and breadth of knowledge will be invaluable to both Fisterra and Blackstone, as we continue to invest in and construct power projects around the world.” Sean Klimczak added, “Lars brings a strong understanding of how to finance and complete large-scale energy projects and has a wealth of investment experience in many of the countries in which we operate or would seek to operate.”
Pedro Barriuso, Chairman and CEO of Fisterra, said, “I am delighted to have both Lars Thunell and General Clark join Fisterra. Mr. Thunell and General Clark are perfect compliments to our management platform and will be invaluable as we build Fisterra into a premier global power development company.”
General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said, “Helping countries overcome their energy challenges and develop energy security is critical to economic growth and sustainable development. I am pleased to join Fisterra’s Board of Directors and look forward to supporting the team as they work to accomplish their goals.”
Lars Thunell, former Head of International Finance Corporation, said, “Developing energy solutions for emerging markets plays a crucial role in strengthening economies and creating growth. Fisterra has the right team and experience to develop affordable, safe and reliable power projects around the world, and I look forward to joining the team.”
General Clark rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, during his tenure in the United States Army. Since retiring from the military in 2000, he has served in several private sector positions, and in September 2003, he ran as a Democratic candidate for President of the United States. General Clark has chaired several public and private companies and is a progressive leader in pursuing energy solutions. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and numerous awards from other governments, including the award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He also serves as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy & Climate Change Advisory Board and ACORE’s Advisory Board.
Lars Thunell is a seasoned chief executive with over 30 years of management experience, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, the financing arm of the World Bank. Under Mr. Thunell’s leadership, the International Finance Corporation tripled its annual financing of infrastructure, healthcare and energy projects around the world from $6 billion to over $20 billion, the majority of which are in emerging markets.
Blackstone is one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world, with more than $218 billion in assets under management, and is a leading global private equity firm and energy private equity franchise. Since its inception in 1985, Blackstone has invested over $42 billion of equity in 172 transactions across the globe. Blackstone is currently investing out of Blackstone Capital Partners VI (“BCP VI”), a $16.7 billion diversified general purpose private equity fund, and Blackstone Energy Partners (“BEP”), a $2.5 billion energy-focused private equity fund. Blackstone’s private equity investments in the energy sector are funded jointly by BEP and BCP VI, which together represent over $5 billion of equity capital allocated to energy.
Over the last decade, Blackstone has built a leading energy sector private equity investing franchise with an extensive track record of investing in partnership with talented management teams seeking to capitalize on their growth opportunities and realize the full potential of their assets. Led by David Foley, the Chief Executive Officer of BEP, this dedicated team of professionals has committed and invested more than $7.5 billion of equity in over 25 energy transactions, across a broad range of geographies and throughout the energy value-chain: upstream, midstream, services & equipment, downstream and power. Power companies represent a significant share of Blackstone’s capital commitments to the energy sector and remain a key focus area for new investments. Blackstone’s current portfolio of power investments includes: Sithe Global, Moser Baer, Monnet, Global Offshore Wind and PQ Energy.