9 NOVEMBER 2021, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Fieldstone, the energy and infrastructure focused investment bank announced today that Karèn Breytenbach is joining its ranks as Senior Expert in Energy and PPP Systems.
Karèn has been involved in energy and private investment in public projects over the last quarter century and is renowned for her ground-breaking work in South Africa even beyond its borders. Her achievements include initiating and shaping the renewables programme in South Africa from 2011-2019 as Head of the Department of Energy's (DoE’s), Independent Power Producer (IPP) and previously engineering the initial public private partnership(PPP) programme in South Africa covering sectors including water, health, transportation and accommodation. She also helped launch one of the first micro-finance projects in the country.
“We have worked with Karèn on a number of projects over the last year and it is clear that our collaboration is now more important than ever, as South Africa needs to position itself to achieve a just energy transition while standing as an attractive destination for much needed foreign investment”, said Fieldstone CEO Jason Harlan. “The challenge is to move from singular, limited transactional thinking to formulate broader initiatives of scale - an ethos and focus that Karèn embodies.”
Closely following its landmark origination of a three Billion Rand issuance by the DBSA to PIMCO, one of the world’s largest investment managers of private capital, as part of the UNECA SDG7 for Africa Programme, this most important personnel addition places Fieldstone in a position to further support the energy and infrastructure aspirations of the country
Karèn Breytenbach commented: “We are at an inflection point in South Africa and Africa generally. We must not wait for things to happen but to rather motivate private involvement and investment to augment and support government efforts in the energy transition and other infrastructure challenges. Both people and communities affected by these adjustments must be considered and incorporated in the result if the country is to be successful.”
“President Ramaphosa’s position on self-generation unlocks new perspectives and opportunities for the economy as private and governmental capital will need to be drawn from outside of the country to meet its financing challenges. This market opening is in line with developments we have seen in other markets around the world. The vital part is that the transition should unlock opportunities for all participants. We are excited to take part in the effort to secure that result,” said Fieldstone Chairman Andrew Smith-Maxwell.
Ms. Breytenbach will also feature as a moderator at the upcoming Africa Energy Forum in London from 15-17 November 2021.
Fieldstone is a market leader in Africa in energy and infrastructure. Fieldstone entered the African market in 1996 with the opening of an office in Johannesburg and is a recognised leader in the industry with US$ 14 billion in completed transactions throughout the continent.
With a multitude of world-wide transactions valued at $50B+, completed across five continents, Fieldstone brings vast global experience in energy and infrastructure. In Africa and emerging economies, its market credibility has allowed it to build a broad investment banking platform serving other sectors as well as directing asset management and principal investments.
About Karèn Breytenbach
Karèn has been involved in the Africa private sector investment in large scale infrastructure projects for more than 24 years and has experience in the conceptualisation, design and development of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the water, health, transportation, accommodation, education, and energy sectors, in different roles, as a lender, and an advisor. She worked for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for 12 years. During her time at the DBSA, Karèn was also involved in the first micro-lending project in South Africa, designed on the successful model used by Dr Muhammad Yunus.,
Following her time at the DBSA Karèn was a consultant to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit in the National Treasury, the Department of Finance of South Africa from 2001 to 2011. The PPP Unit was established in 2000. From 2011 to 2019 her focus was mostly on the energy sector, and involved in the conceptualisation, design and implementation of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) procurement programmes and the establishment of the IPP Office for procurement of electricity generation by the private sector on behalf of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), South Africa.
From 2019, Karèn, has focused on energy and water projects aimed at securing investment to ensure sustainable development of infrastructure projects. Karèn, subscribes to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, and is involved with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government energy transition.
Karèn has a financial academic background. She graduated from the University of the Free State with a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree, with a double major in Accounting and Auditing, and a Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa.
Karèn’s role in the inception and evolution of independent renewable power in South Africa – a model which has influenced many other countries in Africa and beyond - complements the global reach and execution capabilities demonstrated by Fieldstone over the last 30 years.
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