Our team has decades of experience in emerging market solar and finance, with backgrounds at investors including Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan and Rabobank and solar companies including Lumos.
SunFunder is unique in having built Africa-based lending and credit teams. Half our team is based out of our Nairobi office.
OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
Ryan founded SunFunder in 2012 when he was inspired by the prospects for a global solar energy transformation and the need for new financing solutions to make this possible. Prior to SunFunder, Ryan was VP of Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo and led $500 million of investments in more than 150 solar projects. He is a Baltimore native who started his career with the World Resources Institute working with businesses and policymakers on climate and clean energy policies. Ryan holds a Master’s degree in Int’l Relations from the University of Bristol and a bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Audrey is French-Indonesian and grew up in 9 countries. She is based in Nairobi, where she is responsible for growing the team and SunFunder’s portfolio. Prior to SunFunder, Audrey modeled clean energy projects for GI Energy, and performed market research for energy access impact investor E+Co. She was also a founding member of GOOD magazine. She is inspired on a daily-basis by our clients’ work and believes helping them scale is the best job in the world. Audrey holds a Master’s degree in Int'l Energy Management & Policy from Columbia University's School of International Affairs, a Master's degree in Environment and Sustainable Development from Sciences Po Paris, and Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Sciences from UCLA.
As SunFunder's lawyer, Alycia manages all corporate legal matters and structures the debt funds for SunFunder's solar loans. Prior to SunFunder, Alycia was the Vice President of Legal & Compliance at the Grassroots Business Fund. Alycia also previously consulted for FINCA International in Amman, Jordan and worked as a project finance attorney at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master's degree in human rights and democratization from the University of Witwatersrand, and a bachelor's degree in political science from Yale University. Alycia has served on the boards of Women LEAD Nepal, Friends of IDASA, and the advisory boards of the New Markets Lab and the Georgetown Law and International Development Society.
Ritesh joined SunFunder in 2017 and leads corporate finance, systems and investor relations. He is based in Nairobi and brings over 25 years of global experience and leadership in the financial services industry. Prior to SunFunder he was CEO of Rabobank Africa, and previously CFO of Rabobank International North America Wholesale, CFO Europe of Rabobank International, and CFO of De Lage Landen International. Ritesh has lived and worked in three continents. He was educated and trained at the London School of Economics and KPMG, with a professional Chartered Accountancy qualification.
Alana is on SunFunder’s debt funds team. After obtaining her Bachelors degree from Georgetown University, Alana founded a nonprofit in Ladakh, India that introduced solar home systems to off-grid villages in the Himalayas. Simultaneously, she was on a team that invested in microfinance institutions in India and Latin America. This work led her to obtain an MBA focused on global, social, and sustainable enterprises where she conducted extensive research on energy access for productive uses in East Africa (in collaboration with Factor[e] Ventures). Alana has spent significant time traveling in over 40 of the 50 United States and believes that positive social and environmental impact is possible.
Andrew is based in Nairobi and oversees our regional lending in East Africa. His focus is to drive business growth within the C&I sector in the region. Prior to joining SunFunder, he was the Senior Relationship Manager for energy at Jamii Bora Bank in Nairobi, with a focus on the renewable energy sector. His 5 years at Jamii Bora Bank saw him earn a wealth of experience lending within the SME sector. Andrew has also previously worked with Stanbic Bank Kenya as a Business Development Manager and with Morgan Stanley in Alexandria, Virginia as a Financial Advisor, as well as a stint in private family business. He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and Finance from McGill University and is a Certified Credit Analyst.
Avi is a Global Investment Officer at SunFunder. He is responsible for managing relationships with SunFunder's clients and optimizing their debt structure so that we can grow together. Prior to joining SunFunder, Avi was the Director of Market Analysis at Lumos Global, a solar home system provider that launched initially in Nigeria. He began his career as a Special Operations Weather Team Leader in the US Air Force. Avi is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and, as a graduate of the University of Michigan, a proud Wolverine.
Baraka conducts research and analysis on the African solar sector, leads financial diligence on SunFunder’s potential and existing borrowers and supports the lending team’s core operations, business development and monitoring activities. Previously, Baraka was finance officer for Singita Grumeti Reserves in the Serengeti. At Singita, Baraka was also involved with the Community Development outreach team, working with neighbouring communities to develop small businesses that can be sustainable and replicable over time. Baraka holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dodoma, and is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the National Board of Accountants and Auditors in Tanzania.
Catherine joined SunFunder in March 2017 from Old Mutual Securities in Nairobi. Originally from Nairobi, she previously worked as a senior analyst at Bloomberg LP in London, and at Devonshire Partners and the CFA Society of the UK. She has two masters degrees, from the University of Sheffield and the University of Bath, an Award in Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) and has completed the first part of Kenya’s CMA international certification for the capital markets industry, provided by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (UK).
Cindy grows the SunFunder community and ensures that every person, business, and organization connected to SunFunder gets the attention they deserve. Before joining SunFunder, Cindy was with Kopernik managing partnerships with Indonesian local NGOs and distributing clean cookstoves and water filters to rural communities. She is interested in all things related to appropriate technology and holds an MBA from The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from New York University.
Collins is part of SunFunder’s Lending team. He carries out financial due diligence on potential clients. Collins joined SunFunder from a local corporate and project finance advisory firm where he was responsible for the preparation and audit of financial models in the energy, banking and commercial services sectors in both Kenya and Rwanda. Collins has a background in Financial Economics having studied at Strathmore University. He is a FAST Level 1 Certified Financial Modeller and a Level III candidate in the CFA Program. He is passionate about helping people make sound business decisions.
Daniel is a Financial Analyst at SunFunder. As part of the Lending team, he carries out due diligence, forecasting and modelling on potential clients. Prior to joining SunFunder, he was an Administrator at CFA Society East Africa as well as a lecturer in finance courses such as Corporate Reporting, Financial Management and Audit. He holds a BSc. Degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), a BSc. Degree in Applied Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, UK and a CFA Level 1 Qualification. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Geraldina was born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania. Geraldina conducts financial diligence on SunFunder’s potential customers and supports the Lending team’s main operations which include keeping the team informed of customer progress. She has worked as an Account and Auditor before becoming a Lecturer at Tumaini university Makumira where she currently lectures on Accounting, Finance and other business studies. Geraldina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dodoma and a Masters degree in Finance and Investment from Coventry University.
Gilbert helps plan and introduce new systems into the team and ensure they work together in the best possible way. He has over 20 years experience in programming and web development. His recent background is in renewables crowdfunding and carbon-offsetting projects. Gilbert hails from Scotland, but has spent most of his life in London and Brussels, with stints in New York and Sana’a.
Isabelle is based in London with the fundraising team. She worked for 4 years at J.P. Morgan in London, as an Associate in the High Yield Credit Research team. She was keen to make a career shift to social finance and became passionate about off-grid energy access. Isabelle is French and has an MSc in Management with a Corporate Finance major from the ESSEC Business School, where she also did long-term internships in private equity (at mid-cap UK fund Lyceum Capital and at Ardian, fka AXA Private Equity) as well as in debt capital markets at J.P. Morgan.
Livingstone is based in Nairobi with SunFunder's Lending team. He vets and analyzes borrowers' operations, particularly finances. Previously, Livingstone worked as a Pricing Analyst Intern at iProcure Ltd in Lavington, Kenya. He also did a three-month Internship at Ernst & Young Eastern Africa. Livingstone holds a Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science from the Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) and has successfully completed Part one of the Certified Public Accountants of Kenya.
Manoj is SunFunder’s Financial Controller and works out of the Nairobi office. A Kenyan-Canadian national, he has 20+ years professional and entrepreneurial experience in East Africa and North America across a range of industries including financial services, retail, agribusiness and real estate. He holds an undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from the Ivey Business School- Canada. Manoj is passionate about creating positive impact through social entrepreneurship and as a certified yoga instructor, he also deeply cares about helping others to live more balanced and grounded lives.
Naleke is based in Nairobi and joined SunFunder as a Systems Support Officer in October 2018. She is responsible for helping the team with technology related problems to ensure maximum productivity. Before joining SunFunder, she spent time researching on issues affecting girls’ education in Kajiado county in Kenya and also has experience in IT Administration. She holds a degree in Business and Information Technology from Strathmore University.
Nico is a native Londoner who joined SunFunder from Bloomberg New Energy Finance in July 2016. There, he led coverage of off-grid solar and energy access, which included co-authoring the Off-grid Solar Market Trends Report and coordinating Climatescope Africa. He has a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Rim joined SunFunder in May 2018 to lead transactions in West Africa, covering both off-grid solar and other productive use, microgrid and commercial & industrial solar opportunities in the region. She joined from responsAbility Investments where she worked for more than four years completing agriculture investments in Africa. Before that she started her career at BNP Paribas in the structured finance department. Rim was born in Morocco, speaks 5 languages and holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Sciences Po Paris.
Sanjeev is SunFunder’s Head of Risk with more than a decade in banking experience covering strategy, credit portfolio management and credit risk management. He joined Standard Bank’s Kenya franchise as the Director of Credit in the Retail and Business Banking franchise. While in South Africa with the bank, his domain of responsibility spanned 16 African countries across multiple asset classes. Sanjeev also has a rich history in deal origination, structuring and distribution in the pan African context. He has a BSc in Electronic Engineering and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Natal. He also has an MBL at the University of South Africa with a specialization in Corporate Finance.
Shelmith is responsible for leading deals and relationships with solar companies in East Africa and supporting business development activities by conducting due diligence and appraising the business risks of existing and new solar borrowers. She previously worked in various financial institutions in Kenya, where she held credit risk and relationship management roles. Most recently she was Credit Manager - SMEs in Barclays Bank Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Nairobi, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA K), and an Associate of the Kenya Institute of Bankers (AKIB).
Surabhi is responsible for supporting SunFunder's clients by structuring bankable financial solutions that address their capital needs and growth strategies. Surabhi joined SunFunder from MRI Group in Singapore where she led the structured trade finance team globally. Prior to that, she was a member of SMBC’s power & infrastructure project finance team and also has worked at Standard & Poor’s securitisation team. Surabhi holds an MBA from HEC Paris and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Georgetown University. Surabhi has lived in 9 different countries and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Susan is an Investment Officer working out of the Nairobi office. She brings 8 years of banking experience. Prior to Sunfunder, Susan worked as a Branch Manager for Chase Bank Kenya, after having spent 3 years at UBA Bank. She holds a Diploma in Public Relations & Marketing, a Degree in International Studies & Diplomacy and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Environmental Policy, all from the University of Nairobi.
Tinashe is a senior transactional lawyer with over 12 years experience advising developers, international banks, development finance institutions, private equity funds and state-owned enterprises in complex, cross-border transactions. Tinashe has previously worked for leading legal practices at Allen & Overy, Norton Rose Fulbright and Trinity International LLP, where he advised clients on a range of financings, including project financing, trade and commodities financing and off-grid power development. He is a director of the International Lawyer’s for Africa (ILFA), a multi-award-winning international training programme for African lawyers. Tinashe obtained an LLB from the University of Cape Town in 2003, qualified in South Africa in 2006 and was admitted to the New York Bar.
Tom is SunFunder's Portfolio Manager providing oversight in loan portfolio performance. Prior to joining Sunfunder, Tom was a Portfolio Analyst at Stanbic Bank where among other achievements, he led the implementation of their core banking system and credit risk scoring model. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics and a diploma in management information systems (IMIS-UK). Tom is passionate about data driven decisions.