UK export credit agency hires new infra chief

Richard Simon-Lewis joins after three years securing finance for a carbon-capture and storage project grant that was later dropped by the UK government.

The UK’s export credit agency has hired Richard Simon-Lewis as its new head of civil, infrastructure and energy.

He replaces Tahir Ahmed, previously UK Export Finance’s head of civil and defence, who has moved to become the agency’s head of short-term business. Mark Gray, formerly a managing director at Standard Chartered Bank, has also joined the civil, infrastructure and energy team.

“Richard’s role is a reflection of developments in the industry, and the way that we continue to support these important sectors,” a spokeswoman for UKEF told Infrastructure Investor.

Simon-Lewis arrives at the UK agency after three years as finance chief of the White Rose consortium, which was developing a carbon-capture and storage project in competition for a £1 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.1 billion) grant from the government. However, the auction was suddenly cancelled last November, a decision Simon-Lewis later described as “plain wrong”.

Simon-Lewis has also held senior roles within the renewables and infrastructure sectors at Lloyds, Abbey and Credit Lyonnais, as well as a position as vice-president and head of utilities at the Long Term Credit Bank of Japan.