Blackstone Energy Partners, Blackstone's energy-focused private equity business, yesterday announced a partnership with a highly experienced management team to create Global Water Development Partners, a new water-investment and development platform. The team will be led by Usha Rao-Monari, former Global Head of the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Water and Wastewater Group, and Lars Thunell, former Chief Executive Officer of the IFC.
Global Water Development Partners, a company owned by funds managed by Blackstone on behalf of its investors, will support companies with critically-needed capital to create long-term and sustainable water facilities focused on the development of desalination facilities and large scale waste water treatment for industrial customers, and to identify, develop, finance, construct and operate large scale independent water development projects globally.
Global Water Development Partners' will partner with the key stakeholders in industry, government, private sector and civil society to find solutions to the key water sector issues of access and scarcity. Global Water Development Partners will leverage Blackstone's expertise as an active investor and developer of infrastructure projects and its own management team's extensive knowledge in this sector to identify opportunities globally.
Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone said:
"We are excited to partner with such an experienced management team to identify and develop water projects around the world. With Usha's and Lars's leadership, we hope to build a best-in-class platform that will create value for investors."
Usha Rao-Monari, CEO of Global Water Development Partners, said:
"We look forward to partnering with Blackstone in this forward-thinking venture. Blackstone's investment and greenfield development experience, capital resources, knowledge and relationships will support our team as we pursue and identify opportunities in the space."
Lars Thunell, Chairman of Global Water Development Partners, said:
"I am thrilled to be able to partner with Blackstone on this venture. Blackstone's team truly understands the impact that private capital can have in infrastructure development both for the countries in which it operates and for its investors."
Usha Rao Monari most recently served as Director of the IFC's Sustainable Business Advisory Group. In her role as Global Head of the IFC's Water and Wastewater Group, she was responsible for creating the organization's water investment strategy and positioned it as a thought leader in global water scarcity issues. Ms. Rao Monari was instrumental in founding and establishing the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private partnership platform, which works with national governments to facilitate investments in the water sector.
Lars Thunell is a seasoned chief executive with over 30 years of management experience, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, the financing arm of the World Bank. Under Mr. Thunell's leadership, the International Finance Corporation tripled its annual financing of infrastructure, healthcare and energy projects around the world from $6 billion to over $20 billion, the majority of which are in emerging markets.