January 16, 2008 (FinanceAsia.com) – Macquarie Group has appointed Anton Rohner as head of renewables in Asia, with the aim of expanding its business in a region where the renewable energy market is valued at more than $20 billion.The bank projects the market will grow by 15% to 20% annually in the next five years. Among the Asian countries, China and India are two of the world’s top five renewable energy markets, along with Germany, Spain and the US. China plans to have 30,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity capacity by 2020, which represents massive growth but is still small compared with the country’s total installed electricity generating capacity of around 710,000MW at the end of 2007. India already has an installed wind power capacity of 6,000MW.
“We see a groundswell of interest in renewable and sustainable energy from the rising affluence in developing markets in Asia and this presents us with huge opportunities,” says Andrew Low, Asia head of Macquarie Capital Advisers. “We see increased interest in clean energy in China and India.”
Rohner joins a team of more than 300 specialists within the Asian Capital Advisers division, which is responsible for mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and principal investment activities. In this newly created role, he will help Macquarie build an Asian investment pipeline that will complement the bank’s existing investments in the wind, landfill gas, biomass and solar power sectors. Rohner will be based in Hong Kong and report to Low and Oliver Yates, who leads Macquarie’s climate change practice.
Australia-based Macquarie currently manages over A$1.3 billion ($1.16 billion) of renewable energy assets in the US, Europe and Canada. The bank expects its Asian investments in the sector will grow rapidly as its investment partners seek high quality assets in the region.
Rohner joins Macquarie from Roaring 40s, a joint venture between CLP Group and Hydro Tasmania focusing on renewable energy development, where he was general manager for Asia. Since the establishment of the joint venture in 2005, Rohner has developed and implemented a strategy for the Asian region and set up a number of wind farm joint venture projects in China.
Prior to that he worked with Hydro Tasmania, a state-owned enterprise generating hydro and wind power, where he was group manager of finance and investment of renewables development. He has more than 15 years’ experience in M&A and financing in Asia and Australia and has held a range of commercial development and accounting positions at energy and resources companies, including Acacia Resources, Goldfields and Pasminco.
While this expansion reflects Macquarie’s ambition within new growth markets, it is also an indication of its fast business growth in Asia in general. The bank reported a 96% increase in net income from the region in the six months to September 30.
Other recent senior hires in Asia include: Bill Kentrup, who joined the bank in July as senior vice president of environmental financial products; and Arthur Ozeki, who came on board in November as head of Macquarie Capital Advisers Japan. In August the bank also promoted Mark Warburton to head of equity capital markets in Asia.