Project Finance Director

Remote / Virtual

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About the company

Our client company is commercializing the next generation of renewable premium gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel with the potential to achieve zero carbon emissions, addressing the market need of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable alternatives. They use low-carbon renewable resource-based carbohydrates as raw materials and are in an advanced state of developing renewable electricity and renewable natural gas for use in production processes, resulting in low-carbon fuels with substantially reduced carbon intensity (the level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard petroleum fossil-based fuels across their lifecycle). Their products perform as well or better than traditional fossil fuels in infrastructure and engines, but with substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

In addition to addressing the problems of fuels, their technology also enables certain plastics such as polyester, to be made with more sustainable ingredients. Our client’s ability to penetrate the growing low-carbon fuels market depends on the price of oil and the value of abating carbon emissions that would otherwise increase greenhouse gas emissions. They believe that its proven, patented, technology enabling the use of a variety of low-carbon sustainable feedstocks to produce price-competitive low-carbon products such as gasoline components, jet fuel, and diesel fuel yields the potential to generate project and corporate returns that justify the build-out of a multi-billion-dollar business.

About this role

The Project Finance Director will work directly with the CFO to lead the delivery of Special Purpose Entity non-recourse debt as sources of funds for the construction of their planned portfolio of production facilities. This person is expected to structure and execute innovative debt transactions that push the envelope of non-recourse credit structures and will interface directly with investment banks, lenders, and equity investors. A cornerstone aspect of the position will involve the oversight of project finance models for SPE transactions. 

The ideal candidate’s mindset will be one that embraces modeling as the cornerstone of transactions as well as the tool by which sound decisions are made, and desire close interaction with the project modelers and technical and commercial elements. The candidate will be immersed in SPEs and view the functions of risk identification, mitigation, management, and residual pricing as core to a project finance career. The position will also lead transactions involving SPE-level third-party equity or mezzanine capital providers. The role may involve the management of potential DOE funding and grants for their projects. The role will involve continuous analysis and assessment of potential project economics and finance outcomes to provide advice to other leads on the negotiation of commercial terms. The role will require the direct negotiations of financing terms and the management of documentation, counsel interaction, independent expert opinions, due diligence requests, and deal closing processes.

This is a great opportunity to work with a company poised for growth in a unique market and directly make the world cleaner. They offer an outstanding benefits package and the ability to work remotely.

Strategic Responsibility
  • Lead the finance structuring and advise on commercial structuring during project development stages to ensure projects are financeable
  • Marshall internal and external resources, and counterparties (e.g., DBOOM providers of wind energy and wastewater/biogas under separate but interrelated project SPEs), to ensure tasks are completed and milestones met to advance financings in parallel with project development
  • Work with capital providers to structure the capitalization of assets to optimize the usage of debt
  • Develop and maintain successful relationships with financing parties, including lenders, project investors, potentially tax equity investors, and other stakeholders
  • Lead detailed financial analyses of various SPE financing options and drive the selection and execution of preferred approaches, with strong focus on timing, budget, and ability to find creative solutions to the risk/return optimizations
  • Negotiate financings including term sheets, definitive documentation, and other related contracts
  • Lead the preparation of compelling and concise materials to external and internal stakeholders during the financing process, including lender presentations and information memoranda
  • Be a manager for more junior finance people and lead by example, both in knowledge and work habits
  • Review financial models and be responsible for their accuracy and effectiveness
  • Manage external legal, technical, market, insurance, and other advisors
  • Collaborate with tax and accounting personnel
  • Assist in evaluating and executing JV and M&A transactions
  • Provide support in the research of bank and institutional lenders, advisors, and other project finance market participants
Preferred Experience
  • A combination of financial, technical, and commercial experience gained from formal education and previous transaction leadership work
  • Verifiable leadership of notable and innovative closed project finance transactions
  • Experience leading deals on an investment banking execution team, private equity investment team, and/or lead structured finance roles in a transaction-oriented public corporation or active private company
  • MBA combined with a technical undergraduate degree, preferably in engineering
    Ideally, work experience in a process-oriented (refining or chemicals) environment prior to obtaining an MBA, with over 10 years of finance leadership experience gained post-MBA
  • Excellent financial modeling skills with the desire to be in the models and the ability to oversee and direct junior finance staff in modeling transactions under complex and changing project technical, commercial, and financial assumptions
  • Proven ability to negotiate and structure financing agreements, commodity derivatives and sales, and other project agreements
  • Substantial experience with project delivery formats and completion risk mitigation structures in non-recourse settings is critical
  • Discretion in handling confidential information and in communicating with third parties
  • Proven ability to handle high-pressure, time-sensitive deadlines typical in a project-oriented growth environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to convey complex matters to a range of stakeholders, starting with credit and investment committees but also including the Board of Directors and senior management
  • Strong critical thinking skills with the ability to think quickly and implement creative solutions when problem-solving
  • Understanding of tax-equity structures and partnership tax principles is beneficial

Contact 

Nic Karczewski, Search Leader | +1 773.943.7756 | nic.karczewski@transearchusa.com 

Nicole Brown, Senior Director | +1 248.922.7691 | nicole.brown@transearchusa.com  

Cynthia Kaplan, Senior Recruiter | +1 312.447.3001 | cynthia.kaplan@transearchusa.com  

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