The Quercus Assets Selection Board

Christopher T. F. Knowles

Christopher Knowles is the Vice-Chairman of Quercus Assets Selection Sàrl. Chris has spent most of his career at EIB, the largest publicly owned bank in the world; where he worked in a range of roles (development/sponsorship, advisory, lending) in a large number of least developed, emerging and industrialised economies, in the industrial, energy, environment, transport and social sectors.

From 2006 he played a lead role in a new initiative by EIB to reinforce its activity in sectors of high policy priority for the EU through product and sectoral innovation. In that capacity, he exercised a pan- European responsibility for a diverse portfolio of activities, which variously included structured lending in the energy and environmental sector (incl. transactions related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources), equity funds for infrastructure and clean energy, carbon finance, and establishment of the Bank’s centre of expertise for energy and environment. On his watch EIB’s annual volume of climate financing rose to around €20bn annually, and he directly oversaw EIB’s portfolio of fund investments grow to €3bn in 60 equity, debt and carbon funds in which EIB has invested and occasionally sponsored. He was on the Supervisory Committee or Main Board of 10 of these. He chaired the Board of directors of Green for Growth, an innovative blended debt fund targeting emerging markets. He has a broad, practical knowledge of many facets of the green finance agenda in addition to senior but hands on experience of a range of financial products (notably PPPs, equity and debt funds and project finance). He has worked at all levels of the private and public worlds. From 2000-05 he led EIB’s infrastructure financing in Spain, quadrupling annual lending volumes to €4.5bn, much of it in structured form.

From 1976 to 1990 he focused on development projects primarily in Africa. Starting immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall he spent most of the 1990s opening up the new markets of Central and Eastern Europe for EIB operations.

He is a regular speaker on climate and environmental finance, and also on blending of public and private capital so as to maximise impact.


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