IJInvestor Awards 2023 – London Judges (so far)

The time has arrived to announce the first of the London panel of judges to be signed up for IJInvestor Awards 2023 – a team of long-established infrastructure professionals who will hold sway over all categories… companies, transactions and people.

This is the fifth time IJGlobal has hosted IJInvestor Awards – and this year it is being hosted in New York for the first time to celebrate successes in the Americas while the London panel tackles the rest of the world.

These awards are designed to celebrate infra fund and M&A activity in energy and infrastructure, reflecting activity from 1 April 2022 to 31 August 2023. For this year only (a transition year) the awards are open to developments over 17 months.

IJInvestor Awards 2023 – not to be confused with IJGlobal Awards (greenfield) and ESG Awards (soon to be judged) – will be staged in early December in London and New York.

The submissions portal for IJInvestor Awards 2023 remains open until 22 September, so there’s plenty of time to submit… but we recommend submitters, if not already underway, start the process…

But for now, we are delighted to announce the first of the judges who will attend Judgment Day in London on 12 October.

IJGlobal prides itself on the peer-review nature of our awards, ensuring a transparent process that (we believe) makes them the most highly valued – submitted by the industry and reviewed by peers at the highest level.

As always, judges are recused from voting on awards where they have an interest. The London panel assesses all submissions – company and transaction awards – from across the world, excluding the Americas.

The London judging team (in alphabetical order) so far includes:

  • Annette Bannister – managing director and EMEA head of infrastructure debt at MetLife Investment Management
  • Hari Chandra – global head of power, energy and infrastructure as well as international head of investment banking at Cantor Fitzgerald
  • Ed Clarke – co-founder and chief investment officer at Infracapital
  • Dai Clement – global head of power, utilities and infrastructure at Jefferies
  • Thierry Déau – founding partner and chief executive of Meridiam
  • Jean-Francis Dusch – managing director, global head of infrastructure and structured finance at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management
  • Craig Forrest – strategic partner at Arup
  • Jessamy Gallagher – global co-chair of the corporate department and partner in the energy and infrastructure practice at Paul Hastings
  • Rob Gregor – managing partner at Basalt Infrastructure Partners
  • Charlotte Madden – co-head of infrastructure and partner at Clifford Chance
  • Niall Mills – managing partner and global head at Igneo Infrastructure Partners


Annette Bannister

MetLife Investment Management

An old friend of IJGlobal and an occasional member of the judging panels, Annette has deep experience of infrastructure / energy lending gained through her time at an institutional investor.

She is Europe, Middle East and Africa managing director and head of infrastructure debt at MetLife Investment Management in London.

Annette is an established lender having cut her teeth on the project finance team at Societe Generale before moving on to build her career in Barclays followed by taking a role at AMP Capital Partners and a short stint at Legal & General Investment Manager.

It is her time at MetLife that honed Annette to be an ideal judge for IJInvestor Awards having joined it in 2015 and steadily risen through the ranks to, first, take on the role of head of European infrastructure. Then at the end of 2021 she assumed the role she currently holds.

As managing director and head of infrastructure debt for the entire EMEA region at MetLife, Annette has a well-rounded view of the market and leads a strong team.


Hari Chandra

Cantor Fitzgerald

Another established judge for the IJInvestor Awards, Hari is a well-known figure from across the global infrastructure finance community, renowned for having forthright opinions on the market and as rainmaker in the investment banking community.

Hari is the head of global power, energy and infrastructure as well as international head of investment banking at Cantor Fitzgerald, operating out of London.

He has an impressive resume that includes time spent at Lazard, The Blackstone Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies… which he exited in rather spectacular style.

Hari upped sticks from Jefferies at towards the end of 2017 – joined by almost the entire team – to set up stall at Cantor Fitzgerald which had minimal presence in the infrastructure and energy space.

In the blink of an eye, Cantor Fitzgerald established itself as a serious player in the market, carving its niche in advisory for acquisitions across the international infrastructure and energy sectors.

Since the early days, Hari has hired in some of the leading figures in investment banking to build an impressive team that punches its weight on a global scale.


Ed Clarke


One of the early movers of infrastructure fund community, Ed co-founded Infracapital with Martin Lennon in May 2001 and the rest – as they say – is history.

Ed has more than 30 years' infrastructure, project finance and investment experience – it’s always rude to put an exact number on these things – having started off the way so many infra fund leaders did… in banking.

Taking a look at Ed’s LinkedIn profile, he started off life in Hambros Bank and set up its infrastructure advisory business in South Africa before moving on to Societe Generale where he was responsible for structuring and arranging capital markets issue to fund infrastructure projects.

Then in 2001 he made the leap to an institutional investor – M&G Investments – which then evolved into Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of the business.

Quite simply, Ed is one of the best-known figures in the European infrastructure community at an organisation that has been hugely active over the years.

Infracapital has now made more than 60 investments across Europe with a long-term sustainable investment approach, providing value to investors while having a positive impact on the communities in which it operates.

Ed played a leading role in the establishment of the Infrastructure Industry Foundation and the development of its social mobility initiative for the industry.


Dai Clement


Another infrastructure warhorse and a judge on an IJGlobal award panel for the first time, Dai is something of a household name in infrastructure and energy sectors.

Having started off his career at Greenwich Natwest – part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group – it was Dai’s time at RBC Capital Markets that shot him to fame in infra circles.

In this role at RBC, Dai rose to the position of managing director, head of utilities and industrials with a team brimming of some of the smartest people in The City.

Then in 2018 – after one of the other IJInvestor Awards judges may have exited the firm en masse with a resounding slam – Dai took over the Jefferies lead role, taking with him the core of his RBC team: Lorna Shearin, Thomas Forrow and Sophie Lindsay.

Dai has since rallied the forces at the London office of the US-based boutique investment bank and come out punching with an impactful team that has re-established itself as a leading player in infrastructure and energy M&A.


Thierry Déau


Another early mover in the infrastructure fund space, Thierry Déau has leads one of the most influential fund managers in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

He is Meridiam’s chair and chief executive having founded it in 2005 as an independent investment benefit corporation specialised in the development, financing, and management of long-term and sustainable infrastructure projects, with the belief that the alignment of interests between the public and private sector can provide critical solutions to the collective needs of communities.

Managing more than $20 billion of assets, the firm has to date more than 120 projects under development, construction or in operation.

Meridiam currently has offices in Paris, New York, Istanbul, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Luxemburg, Aman, Vienna, Libreville, Johannesburg and Washington and is a leading investor in public infrastructure across Europe, North America and Africa.

Prior to Meridiam, Thierry worked for France’s Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations where he held several positions with its engineering and development subsidiary Egis Projects, moving up from project manager, then director for concession projects to his appointment as chief executive in 2001.


JF Dusch


A well-rounded – and some might say colourful – infrastructure specialist with more than 30 years’ experience of international project and structured finance, JF is a strong addition to the panel.

He comes from a solid background of actually having built things at Bouygues Construction where he worked in its international finance engineering department.

However, he evolved that into a banking career, switching to join UBS in Zurich, then relocating to the London project finance team to lead landmark European infrastructure, energy and telecoms projects. He then went to work at Citigroup before switching over to the famed WestLB team as a director in London and New York.

JF joined the Edmond de Rothschild Group in 2004 in London, as co-head and global head of the project finance team advising governments, private consortia and structuring in house private equity real assets funds.

Then in 2013, JF was promoted to global head of Edmond de Rothschild’s infrastructure, real assets and structured finance department.

This led to the successful development of the Benjamin de Rothschild Infrastructure Debt Generation (RIDGE) platform which now boasts a 15-strong London and Geneva-based team managing €5.6 billion in assets through ESG-compliant investments in 16 countries on the continent.

This led to JF being appointed chief executive of Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (EDRAM) in 2017 and chief executive of the Edmond de Rothschild (UK) Group in 2019 where he also had interim responsibility for Private Merchant Bank activities.


Craig Forrest


A regular figure on the awards panels for European greenfield infrastructure financing – the IJGlobal Awards – Craig is one of the key figures at a technical advisory firm that usually tops the IJ league tables.

Craig is one of Arup’s most established international infrastructure experts and has worked on transactions across the globe, driving the firm to new heights and into different areas – like financial and economic advisory.

Having been a front-line infra hand for many years, Craig took on the role of strategic partner in the consultancy last year (2022) having returned from Canada where he spent 3 years (a good deal of that under lockdown… which wasn’t an awful lot of fun).

During his time in Canada, Craig was serving as chief executive of Arup Corporate Finance which he stepped away from in March 2022 on his return to London.

Craig has worked at Arup since the spring of 2007, and – from 2008 until 2010 – he operated out of Dubai as commercial director for the region.

From 2010 to 2013, he was advisory lead for the UK, the Middle East and Africa; and then from 2013 to 2019 he was global leader of business and investor advisory.

He is one of the most instantly recognised figures in the global technical advisory space and has impressively driven evolution across Arup.


Jessamy Gallagher

Paul Hastings

A senior lawyer steeped in M&A, Jessamy is a household name in infrastructure and energy circles and her arrival earlier this year at Paul Hastings from Linklaters set a cat among the pigeons.

An Australian national, Jessamy joined the US-based law firm as global co-chair of its corporate department and a partner in the energy and infrastructure practice, operating out of the London office.

She focuses her practice on international public and private M&A in the infrastructure, energy, and real assets markets, while also having extensive experience acting on business-critical corporate governance matters.

Jessamy regularly advises a wide range of global pension, infrastructure, and fund manager clients, as well as a number of FTSE listed clients.

Her deal list while working at Linklaters (joining Paul Hastings in January 2023) is impressive – to say the least – having worked on so many transactions that have won IJ awards over the years.

To name a couple, Jessamy led the team to advise Brookfield, OTPP and StepStone on their acquisition of a combined total stake of 50% in Scotia Gas Networks from SSE and a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADIA.

She also worked with Arqiva – owned by a consortium of investors including Macquarie Infrastructure Management, CPPIB, IFM Investors and Whitehelm Capital – on the sale of its towers business to Cellnex Telecom for £2 billion.


Rob Gregor

Basalt Infrastructure Partners

Another judge who is long established in the infrastructure fund community, Rob is responsible for the overall management of Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

He is managing partner and a member of Basalt’s investment committee and has more than 25 years of infrastructure experience. Rob also currently serves as a director of Nobina.

Rob started at Basalt at the end of 2010 having previously been head of European infrastructure at AMP, responsible for managing the European infra investment business, which he was instrumental in founding in 2005.

At AMP, he oversaw transaction origination and execution, portfolio management and asset management for AMP’s European managed infrastructure funds.

Rob was director of a number of AMP’s European portfolio companies including Alpha Trains, Compañía Logística De Hidrocarburos (CLH), Thames Water and SMIF – the famed Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund. He also served as an alternate director of Wales and West Utilities.

Prior to joining AMP in 1997, Rob worked for Bankers Trust, TNT Limited, and Ernst & Young.


Charlotte Madden

Clifford Chance

A leading lawyer at a first tier law firm that habitually sits at the top of the IJGlobal league tables, Charlotte is famed for playing a central role on some of the biggest M&A deals to close across infrastructure and energy.

Charlotte serves as Clifford Chance's global co-head of infrastructure, specialising on advising private equity houses and infrastructure funds on domestic and cross-border M&A.

She represents financial investors through all stages of the investment cycle across a range of infrastructure asset classes, including highly regulated transactions.

Charlotte recently advised long-standing client Partners Group and its portfolio company Gren on the acquisition of 11 heat and power generation assets in the UK from Equitix. Gren is a Northern European energy company that was acquired by Partners Group, acting on behalf of its clients, in 2021.

She also led on advisory for 3i Infrastructure on its acquisition of Future Biogas, a founder led group developing and operating biogas plants across the UK. Future Biogas is the largest biomethane producer in the UK operating 11 plants across the UK, which it developed and subsequently sold to institutional investors.

Charlotte also led the team to advise Partners Group, acting on behalf of its clients, on the sale of a 20% stake in the Dutch offshore wind farm Borssele III / IV to Swiss Life Asset Managers on behalf of its investors.


Niall Mills

Igneo Infrastructure Partners

Niall is every bit as high profile as he is humble and – without question – one of the best known and most liked members of the European infrastructure community.

He serves as managing partner and global head of Igneo, operating out of London and has built an impressive team underneath him, living and breathing a culture that seeks the best of people to build an impressive portfolio.

At Igneo – beyond being managing partner – Niall stands as a member of the global and European investment committees and a board member of a number of the portfolio companies.

Niall is one of the most highly-regarded professionals in his space and has had a 35-year long career in the infrastructure sector as an engineer, project manager and investment manager.

He joined First Sentier Investors (Igneo’s parent company) in 2008 as a founding member of the European infrastructure business and became managing partner of the global infrastructure business in 2020… which subsequently rebranded to Igneo Infrastructure Partners in 2022.

With Igneo as the independently branded direct infrastructure business of FSI, Niall was invited to join the executive leadership team of FSI in October 2022.

Niall currently sits on the board of investee company Anglian Water Group.

Prior to joining the team in 2008, he worked in industry holding senior roles at Southern Water, Honeywell, Bechtel and United Utilities.