About us

Our executive

Meet the CEFC Executive

Ian Learmonth

Ian Learmonth, Chief Executive Officer

Ian Learmonth joined the CEFC as Chief Executive Officer in May 2017. Mr Learmonth had previously served as an independent member of the CEFC Executive Investment Committee.

Mr Learmonth has more than 20 years' experience as a financier and investor, working across clean energy and major infrastructure projects, as well as social impact investments.  

He joined Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in 2011 to establish its Impact Investing business and raised SVA's first Social Impact fund in 2012. Ian structured and launched Australia's first Social Impact Bond and was also instrumental in establishing a dedicated Social and Affordable Housing fund with large super fund HESTA.

Previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Group for 12 years, Mr Learmonth has investment banking experience in Sydney, Hong Kong and London. He established and led various businesses, notably European renewable energy and carbon credit investments, as well a cross-border structured finance and asset financing in Asia and Europe. Earlier in his Macquarie career, Mr Learmonth established the bank's IT operating lease business and completed a number of securitisations for both Macquarie Bank and external clients.

Ian has degrees in both Law and Commerce from the University of Queensland and is a director of Sydney's Belvoir Theatre.


Rebecca Cottrell

Rebecca Cottrell, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Ms Cottrell is an experienced solicitor with some 20 years' experience in the legal field. As General Counsel, Ms Cottrell heads the CEFC's legal team, which provides proactive support to the investment and portfolio management teams and more generally provides advice on corporate legal matters to the CEFC. Ms Cottrell also provides support to the Board as Corporate Secretary.

Ms Cottrell is a highly experienced leader within the financial services industry and a former partner of Goldman Sachs JBWere. She has worked in Australia and New Zealand, including senior leadership roles as Head of Federation and Head of Legal at Goldman Sachs in New Zealand, and as General Counsel and Company Secretary of the NZ Stock Exchange.

While at Goldman Sachs in New Zealand, Ms Cottrell provided legal advice on a broad range of transactions, including major capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, divestitures, and domestic and international structured finance offerings. As Head of Federation she was also responsible for all back office operations.

As a solicitor in private practice, Ms Cottrell worked for leading law firms in Australia (Gilbert + Tobin) and New Zealand (Russell McVeagh), advising both the banking and energy industries. Additionally, she acted as head of the Capital Markets Committee of the NZ Securities Industry Association, responsible for  Parliamentary Select Committee submissions and appearances on Securities Laws changes.

Ms Cottrell completed her legal studies at Macquarie University and is a solicitor admitted in Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of New Zealand.


Kevin Holmes

Kevin Holmes, Chief Governance and Strategy Officer

Mr Holmes is responsible for a range of critical business functions, including strategy development, governance, marketing and communications, investment research and risk management. Mr Holmes also chairs the Executive Investment Committee and the Executive Risk Committee and is a member of the Asset Management Committee.

Mr Holmes was previously chief financial officer at EnergyAustralia (formerly TRUenergy), where he played a key role in the growth and transformation of the business into one of Australia's largest energy retailers and electricity generators.

Prior to that, Mr Holmes was chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Pacific Hydro, where he helped establish a world leading renewable energy company through a global growth strategy, including major greenfield projects in Australia, Chile, Brazil, the Philippines and Fiji.

Mr Holmes also had a long international career with British Gas in the United Kingdom and then with BHP Billiton, holding various senior positions overseas before moving to Australia.

Mr Holmes is a Chartered Accountant, a Commerce Graduate of Otago University in New Zealand, a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney, Chief Originations and Transactions Officer (Joint)

As joint Chief Originations and Transactions Officer, Mr McCartney is responsible for the origination and contractual documentation of new investments for the CEFC.

Mr McCartney has more than 25 years of business experience working across clean energy, commercial property, funds management and IT services. Mr McCartney's experience includes M&A, in addition to CFO roles for listed and unlisted companies.

Mr McCartney joined the CEFC in 2013, having previously worked at Low Carbon Australia.

Mr McCartney is a Certified Practising Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from RMIT University.


Leanne McDonald

Leanne McDonald, Executive Director - People and Culture

Ms McDonald is an experienced HR practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in Human Resources and consulting. As Executive Director, People and Culture, Ms McDonald heads the CEFC People and Culture team, which is responsible for ensuring the CEFC acquires, develops and retains the right people capability and diversity to support its growing investment portfolio. 

Ms McDonald has held senior HR roles across a diverse range of industries, covering energy and resources, financial services, IT and telecommunications, including responsibility for the Asia Pacific region. She has deep expertise in dealing with the organisational challenges facing new and growing businesses, as well as organisations facing significant transformations. Throughout her career, Ms McDonald has designed and implemented industry-recognised change initiatives, which have helped accelerate the business strategy of both Australian and global organisations.

While at AGL Energy as Head of People and Culture, Ms McDonald established the capability and culture which helped the startup gas exploration business to transition to operational stage. At Allianz, as part of a global business transformation, Ms McDonald was the driver of the Future Workforce strategy, which achieved significant uplift in leadership capability as well as improved gender and cultural diversity in senior leadership, consistently ahead of annual targets.

As a consultant, Ms McDonald also led strategic change initiatives for clients in the financial services, manufacturing and public sectors.  

Ms McDonald holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology, as well as a Master of Commerce in Organisational Behaviour from the University of NSW.  In 2017, Ms McDonald was awarded a Chief Executive Women educational scholarship.

Stephen Panizza

Stephen Panizza, Chief Investment Risk Officer

Mr Panizza is Chief Investment Risk Officer at the CEFC, with responsibility for investment decisions and overall management of the CEFC portfolio.

Mr Panizza has a long career in finance. Mr Panizza spent 10 years with the Macquarie Group in Singapore, developing an Asian debt capital market platform covering key Asian markets. Previously he developed an Asian leveraged finance business for ABN AMRO, also based in Singapore.  Mr Panizza began his finance career in Australia, where he held roles with National Mutual Royal Bank, the Bank of Western Australia and ABN AMRO.

Mr Panizza has served in a board capacity on several operating subsidiaries within the Macquarie Group, including Macquarie Capital (Singapore) Pte Ltd and the ASX listed Miclyn Express Offshore Limited. He was also vice chair of the not-for-profit Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics. 

Mr Panizza holds a Capital Markets Services License and Financial Advisers License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and  has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia.


Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell, Chief Financial Officer

Mr Powell has more than 25 years of business experience, working within industry and public accounting both in Australia and the United States.

Mr Powell is experienced in all aspects of financial accounting, as well as mergers and acquisitions, public listings and transaction and deal structuring.

Mr Powell was previously the chief financial officer and company secretary of Low Carbon Australia Limited, a public company established by the Australian Government in 2010.

In addition to having oversight of the finance, IT, HR and legal roles as CFO, Mr Powell worked with the deal teams on structuring and reviewing transactions. He also actively supported the CEO in providing strategic direction, articulating a compelling vision and building the company's profile with the general public and business community.

Prior to that, Mr Powell was senior vice president of finance for Symyx Technologies, Inc. a NASDAQ-listed company, for a period of eight years in California. He also worked with Ernst & Young in both Australia and the United States for a combined period of nine years. Mr Powell is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 


Ludovic Theau

Ludovic Theau, Chief Originations and Transactions Officer (Joint)

As joint Chief Origination and Transactions Officer, Mr Theau is responsible for the origination and execution of new investments for the CEFC.

Mr Theau has led the successful financing of a number of the CEFC's innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, helping to develop the CEFC's growing investment portfolio.

Mr Theau has more than 25 years' experience in large transactions in the infrastructure, utilities and PPP sectors, including a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Prior to the CEFC, Mr Theau worked in Europe and Australia in financial advisory, funds management, asset management, commercial and investment banking, with Hastings Funds Management, Westpac, ABN AMRO, Macquarie Bank, UBS and BNP Paribas.

Mr Theau holds a Master of Engineering from École Centrale de Paris, France.