First Reserve expands energy team

First Reserve Corporation has expanded its energy-infrastructure team with the appointment of James Berner as director and Adi Blum and Mark Saxe as vice presidents.

Berner has more than 17 years of energy-related debt and equity-finance experience including principal energy investing, deal sourcing, execution, and governance in the US, Europe, and Asia. His responsibilities will include deal origination, structuring, execution, monitoring, and exit strategy, with particular emphasis on the worldwide energy infrastructure sector. He previously worked at General Electric Capital Energy Financial Services where he was a managing director and led coverage of the US utility sector. Berner previously led principal investment activities in GE EFS’s Singapore office and project finance in London. Prior to that, he was in project and trade finance at Deutsche Bank, Siemens, and the US Export-Import Bank. He has a BA degree from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Saxe joins First Reserve from Loews Corporation, where he served as a director. He was at Loews for six and half years, where he gained broad energy infrastructure experience. He was instrumental in the structuring and execution of significant investments, including Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, a major provider of interstate transportation and storage of natural gas in the US Prior to Loews Corporation, Saxe was an analyst in the investment banking division at Lehman Brothers. He holds a BCom degree from McGill University.

Adi J. Blum joins First Reserve from High Road Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm where he served as a vice president. At High Road, he managed structuring and diligence for transactions, was engaged in portfolio company oversight, and served on the board of directors of portfolio companies. Prior to High Road, he was an associate in Citigroup’s mergers and acquisitions group, where he focused on several transactions in the energy, transportation, and infrastructure sectors. Blum was also an associate at Silver Oak Partners, where he worked on consulting assignments focused on creating greater efficiencies for state governments. He holds a BS degree in international affairs from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service and an MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business.

Saxe’s and Blum’s responsibilities will include investment origination, structuring, due diligence, and execution and monitoring for the infrastructure team.

First Reserve is a private investment firm that has invested solely in the energy industry for the past 28 years. The firm’s most recent private equity fund, which closed in 2009, is valued at about US $9 billion.

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