Lekela Board

Mikael Karlsson - Chairman
Mikael Karlsson

Mikael is Co-Head of the Energy team. He has 25 years of experience in developing, investing and operating power businesses, mostly in the emerging markets. Mikael joined Actis in 2012 as a Partner and became Co-Head of Energy in 2015. He was previously CEO of Globeleq and played a key role in Fund 1’s initial investments in 2002/03. Before joining Globeleq, Mikael had a long career with ABB Energy Ventures, where he held positions as global head of project development, head of Asia Pacific and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as chair of the Investment Committee.

Mikael holds a Masters in Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Linkoping Institute of Technology in Sweden and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts in the U.S.

Femi Akinrebiyo
Femi Akinrebiyo

Femi Akinrebiyo, a Nigerian national, is a Principal Investment Officer with International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. He has been with IFC since 2006 and has over 20 years of principal investment and project management experience.

Femi has played leading roles in structuring and investing over a billion dollars for IFC in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Most recently, Femi led the implementation of the Joint World Bank Group (“WBG”) Energy Business Plan for Nigeria, a WBG initiative supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria to accelerate implementation of power sector reforms, attract private investment, and fast-track key projects to financial close.

Femi’s background includes working for ExxonMobil as a Project Engineer and other multinational companies, including Philips Projects and Spar Aerospace.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

Lucy Heintz
Lucy Heintz

Lucy joined CDC/Actis in 2001 and has 18 years of emerging markets investment experience, including 5 years operational experience within an Actis investee power generation company (Globaleq) as a Project Director in the business development team.  She is a Partner in the Energy Fund with responsibility for renewable generation globally. Recent deals include Lekela Power (2015) a pan African renewable generation platform and Aela Energia (2013), a wind and solar generation business in Chile. Both investments encapsulate Actis’s strategy to build world class, scale, generation businesses that can be leaders and long term participants in their home markets.

While at Globeleq Lucy acquired and/or developed brownfield projects in Tanzania, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria giving her first hand experience of project development in the emerging markets. Lucy originally joined CDC in 2001, having completed an MBA at INSEAD in 2000. Prior to CDC she worked at UBS Warburg as a Director in the Fixed Income division, trading emerging market local currency derivatives. She has a MA (Hons) in PPE from Trinity College, Oxford.

Torben Andersen
Torben Andersen

Torben is responsible for all global onshore operations, wind and solar in Mainstream.

Previously, Torben was employed by Airtricity for six years where he held a track record as a developer and a dealmaker in Airtricity. During this period, he was responsible for securing a portfolio of 2,000MW of offshore wind projects in Ireland, the UK, The Netherlands and Germany and established development teams in these locations. One of these offshore projects, the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm (500MW) located in the UK, was secured and consented under Torben’s management. For a short time, Torben was also responsible for all onshore wind energy development activities in Ireland and Northern Ireland within Airtricity.

Torben holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration. Previously, he held several international positions as a Danish Army Officer prior to moving to Ireland.

Suman Babbar
Suman Babbar

Suman Babbar has been actively engaged with the infrastructure sector and project finance over the last four decades, including in his early career being a founding member of the National Thermal Power Corporation in India before joining the World Bank in a number of senior positions.   

For nearly a decade he managed the Project Finance and Guarantees program which supported mobilization of private capital for infrastructure using the World Bank guarantees. He has had operational involvement in more than thirty countries across all regions, where he was extensively involved in the energy sector and the IPP program for the World Bank.

More recently he has been advising regional energy teams, supported Independent Evaluation Group and Operation Policy teams for the World Bank as well as being a senior advisor to Actis and being a non-exec director on a number of Boards

Chris Antonopoulos
Chris Antonopoulos

Chris has extensive experience in developing power and infrastructure projects in Africa, having overseen initiatives valued at more than $4 billion combined. He was appointed as CEO of Lekela in March 2015 by the board.

Before joining Lekela, Chris spent eight years as Group Vice President at Bombardier Transportation, one of the largest rail-equipment manufacturing and servicing industry companies in the world. Based in Berlin, he was responsible for close to $10 billion in global sales and business development.

Swiss-born, Chris has been active in the energy and infrastructure industry since 1987 in sales and business development positions, including senior management positions at ABB, the leading global electrical engineering group. During an 11-year spell at the company, his roles included Business Area President for ABB Equity Ventures, Regional VP for Asia Pacific and Regional VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Willem Blignaut
Willem Blignaut

Willem Blignaut joined Alter Domus in 2015 and is based in the Netherlands.

Willem is a lawyer by profession and was previously with a prominent international law firm in Amsterdam as part of the Corporate/M&A team. During his more than ten years working as a lawyer, Willem has gained extensive experience in international transactions and corporate governance.

Before joining us, Willem was a successful lawyer at TMF Group where he managed a team of company lawyers.

Willem has a Master’s Degree in International Trade Law.