InfraCredit, a specialised infrastructure credit guarantee institution, has announced the appointment of Mr Gilles J. Vaes, CEO, InfraCo Africa and Ms Claire Jarratt, Chief Investment Officer, InfraCo Africa into its board as Non-Executive Directors, representing InfraCo Africa’s equity investment.
InfraCredit is backed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Private Infrastructure Development Group companies (GuarantCo) and InfraCo Africa, KfW Development Bank, Africa Finance Corporation and African Development Bank.
Vaes is an energy specialist, with a rare blend of business and investment strategy skill sets. Gilles has over two decades of hands-on experience in the energy sector, working with some of the largest energy providers in Africa, Asia and Europe.
As the Chief Executive Officer of InfraCo Africa Limited, he has the responsibility for fulfilling InfraCo Africa’s vision of alleviating poverty by mobilizing private sector expertise and finance to develop high-quality infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Vaes was at different times senior strategy and risk analyst, project manager, project engineer, and head of business development in leading global manufacturing and energy companies, including Engie, Electrabel, Calidda and Etex Group.
He Vaes, a keen advocate of environmental sustainability, is passionate about socioeconomic development models that improve living standards and committed to innovations in infrastructure financing and development. Mr Gilles is an alumnus of prestigious George Washington University and the Catholic University of Louvain, where he had his post-graduate degrees – MBA (Finance) and MSc. (Civil Engineering) respectively. Gilles is multilingual – speaks English, French, Spanish and Dutch fluently; semi-fluent in Romanian and learning Arabic. He is an avid sailor and surfer, and loves hiking, running, and reading.
Ms Claire Jarratt is a finance and investment management specialist, with over two decades of an impressive career, spanning audit and assurance, corporate and project finance, M&A, deal origination and investment management. As the Chief Investment Officer of InfraCo Africa Limited, Claire oversees investment origination, appraisal/due diligence, and management. Prior to joining InfraCo Africa in 2012, Claire was Assistant Director at International Power Plc (now Engie), leading corporate and project finance initiatives. She has a stint as Merger and Acquisition Manager and Commercial Manager at TRI, the investment holding company of Pizza Hut and KFC. Claire was an Assistant Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Kingdom, where she spent half a decade specializing in providing audit and assurance services to mid and large-cap firms in Greater London.
She is an alumnus of Jesus College, Oxford University and a qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Claire, a sports enthusiast, is a skier and gym goer and, a long-distance runner – she participated in the New York Marathon 1999 and London Marathon 2006.
“Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the parent company of InfraCo Africa, and the NSIA have a long-standing relationship stemming from when both institutions co-sponsored the development of InfraCredit and partnered on other projects of mutual interest. The relationship continues to deepen as Gilles and Clair join the Board of InfraCredit as shareholder representatives of InfraCo; bringing with them invaluable and complementary experiences which will further strengthen the capacity of our deep bench of Board members. I am excited to welcome both of them and look forward to the additional benefits that will accrue to InfraCredit on account of their wealth of experience and stellar business acumen” said Mr Uche Orji, Chairman, Board of Directors, InfraCredit.
Mr Chinua Azubike, the Chief Executive of InfraCredit, commented; “Messrs. Gilles and Claire are great additions to our Board, as they bring invaluable global and regional experience in infrastructure finance, thus enhancing our Board’s oversight and enriching our governance. My colleagues and I, who run the day-to-day business of InfraCredit, excitingly look forward to working closely with both Executives of InfraCo Africa, particularly through the different Board Committees, as we continue to leverage best-in-class governance in growing our business and building sustainable value for all stakeholders.”
“Providing capital to InfraCredit is only a part of our strategic objectives of working with this unique institution in Nigeria. Claire and I are therefore glad to be joining the Board of Directors, as it should afford us the opportunity to further support the Executive Management in delivering on the vision of unlocking private long-term capital for the much-needed infrastructure development in Africa’s most populous and biggest economy. InfraCredit has a strong governance capacity, given the diverse experience of its Directors and we hope to efficiently complement these globally reputed professionals.”, said Mr Vaes.