GREENWICH, Conn., HOUSTON, LONDON and HONG KONG, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- First Reserve Corporation, the world's leading private investment firm in the energy industry, today announced the expansion of its energy-infrastructure team with the appointment of three professionals effective immediately. James Berner joins the team as Director. Adi Blum and Mark Saxe join as Vice Presidents. The combined expertise and talent of these executives will add immediate and significant value to the group already in place at First Reserve.
"The strong energy and principal investment experience these individuals possess is highly relevant to the execution of our infrastructure investment strategy and sector focus," said Mark Florian, Managing Director of First Reserve Corporation. "They are excellent examples of the high level of talent First Reserve attracts and the requisite skill set we seek to advance investment opportunities generated from industry relationships."
James Berner has over 17 years of energy-related debt and equity-finance experience including principal energy investing, deal sourcing, execution and governance in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Mr. Berner's responsibilities will include deal origination, structuring, execution, monitoring and exit strategy, with particular emphasis on the worldwide energy infrastructure sector. Mr. Berner comes to First Reserve from General Electric Capital Energy Financial Services (EFS), where he was a Managing Director and led coverage of the U.S. utility sector. He previously led principal investment activities in GE EFS's Singapore office and project finance in London. Prior to that, he was in project and trade finance at Deutsche Bank, Siemens and the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Mr. Berner holds a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Saxe joins First Reserve from Loews Corporation, where he served as a Director. Mr. Saxe was at Loews for six and half years, where he gained broad energy infrastructure experience. He was instrumental in the structuring and execution of significant investments, including Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, a major provider of interstate transportation and storage of natural gas in the U.S. Prior to Loews Corporation, Mr. Saxe was an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division at Lehman Brothers. He holds a BCom from McGill University.
Adi J. Blum joins from High Road Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm where he served as a Vice President. At High Road Capital Partners, Mr. Blum managed structuring and diligence for transactions, was engaged in portfolio company oversight and served on the Board of Directors of portfolio companies. Prior to High Road, he was an Associate in Citigroup's Mergers & Acquisitions group, where he focused on several transactions in the energy, transportation and infrastructure sectors. He was also an Associate at Silver Oak Partners, where he worked on consulting assignments focused on creating greater efficiencies for state governments. Mr. Blum holds a B.S. in International Affairs from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service and an M.B.A. from New York University, Stern School of Business.
Mr. Saxe's and Mr. Blum's responsibilities will include investment origination, structuring, due diligence, and execution and monitoring for the infrastructure team.
First Reserve is a leading private investment firm in the energy industry, making both private equity and infrastructure investments throughout the energy value chain. For 28 years, it has invested solely in the global energy industry, and has developed a preeminent franchise, utilizing its broad base of specialized energy industry knowledge as a competitive advantage. The firm is currently investing its most recent private equity fund, which closed in 2009 at approximately US $9 billion. First Reserve invests strategically across a wide range of energy industry sectors, developing a portfolio that is diversified across the energy value chain, backing talented management teams and building value by building companies. Further information is available at www.firstreserve.com.