Nilesh Gavankar

Position: Assistant general manager, head of investment banking, Bank Muscat

Biography: Nilesh Gavankar is assistant general manager and head of investment banking for Bank Muscat. He joined the bank in 1997 and has occupied various positions, including senior manager in the corporate finance division and assistant manager in the investment banking division. In January 2007, he became head of the bank’s corporate finance division and held the position until January 2012. Bank Muscat has advised on independent power and water projects in Oman at Sur, Barka, Sohar, Salalah, Manah and Al-Kamil. Outside Oman, Bank Muscat is currently advising Jordan’s Aqaba Water Company on the development of a 10 million-gallon-a-day desalination plant. Previously, Gavankar worked for India’s Sunidhi Consultancy Services as a money markets dealer. He is a qualified chartered financial analyst in the US and a charted accountant in India.

Contact Tel: (+968) 2 476 8209 

Richard Kupisz

Position: Deputy chief executive, Maxwell Stamp

Biography: Richard Kupisz has 27 years’ experience in investment banking and consultancy, advising public and private sector clients. He is currently deputy chief executive at Abu Dhabi-based Maxwell Stamp, having joined the firm from the UK’s IPA Energy & Water Economics in 2011. Prior to joining IPA, Kupisz was a director of investment banking at Toronto-headquartered CIBC World Markets, where he focused on privatisation advisory work. He has worked at the Netherlands-headquartered KPMG Consulting. He was lead transaction adviser to Iraq’s Electricity Ministry for the country’s first independent power projects. Kupisz also advised Baghdad’s Water Ministry on the financing of the Bekhma dam and hydropower plant. He has degree in economics from the University of Bristol and a master’s degree from University of Warwick, both in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 639 6633

Bill Appleby

Position: Head of infrastructure and energy finance, Citigroup

Biography: Bill Appleby has been head of Citigroup’s infrastructure and energy finance division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions since 2009, having joined the US bank in 2006. He has more than 15 years’ experience in structured project finance, working both as a financial adviser and lender on transactions in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Oman. He has worked on several independent power projects in Saudi Arabia, including Jubail, Rabigh, PP11 and Qurayyah. He is currently advising Saudi Electricity Company on its latest project, Rabigh 2. Appleby is also advising the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy on its 125MW solar power project at Ouarzazate. He also advised on Emirates Aluminium’s aluminium complex in Abu Dhabi. Appleby was previously project finance director at the UK’s HSBC.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7986 4000

Kim Keats-Martinez

Position: Executive director, IPA Energy & Water Economics

Biography: Kim Keats-Martinez is an executive director of UK-based IPA Energy & Water Economics and heads the firm’s international infrastructure analysis team in London. He specialises in transaction support for project developers, financiers and fuel suppliers. He has worked on completed power projects with a transaction value of $17bn over the past 10 years. In the region, he supported bidders for the Bizerte independent power project (IPP) in Tunisia and Rabigh in Saudi Arabia. In Oman, he worked for bidders on the Sur IPP, the Barka 3 and Sohar 2 IPPs and the Salalah independent water and power project (IWPP). He provided client support on Bahrain’s Al-Hidd IWPP, Al-Manakher IPP in Jordan and Barka 1 in Oman. He has also supported the refinancing of the Shuweihat 2 IWPP in the UAE. Keats-Martinez has a master’s degree in economics from the UK’s University of London.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7962 1333

Wassim Bou-Ghanem

Position: Vice-president, CRA International

Biography: Wassim Bou-Ghanem is vice-president of US-based consultancy CRA International. He is an electrical engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in consultancy services for the energy and utilities sector in the Middle East and the US. Bou-Ghanem joined CRA International in 2007 from the UK’s Ernst & Young, where he was a partner. He also worked for the US’ Arthur Andersen as chemicals and utilities director. He previously advised institutions such as the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu for the privatisation of Marafiq, the first power and water utility company to be privatised in Saudi Arabia. He provides advisory services for power and water schemes in the region, with a focus on renewable energy. CRA International is currently advising Jordan’s Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry on two wind farms. Bou-Ghanem has a degree in electrical engineering from Wayne State University in the US.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1 434 2106

Roland Kahale

Position: Head of power (Middle East and Africa), BNP Paribas

Biography: Roland Kahale is in charge of the Middle East and Africa region power sector for BNP Paribas’ global project finance group. He joined the French bank’s project finance team in Paris in 2000. Kahale is currently leading the advisory mandate for Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau on the country’s first IWPP at Al-Zour North. In Morocco, he is supervising the advisory team for Abu Dhabi National Energy Company’s (Taqa) power plant expansion at Jorf Lasfar. He advised Bahrain on the Al-Dur IWPP and Al-Ezzel IPP. In Saudi Arabia, he worked for France’s GDF Suez on the Marafiq IWPP deal and advised Saudi Aramco on the Tihama cogeneration project. He also advised the developer group on the Al-Qatrana IPP in Jordan and worked on Abu Dhabi’s Shuweihat 3 IPP. Kahale has an engineering degree from Lebanon’s Ecole Superieure d’Ingenieurs de Beyrouth and an MBA degree from ESSEC (France).

Contact Tel: (+33) 1 4316 9078