Sanford J. Selman bio expanded
Sanford J. Selman is the Founder and Managing Director of Asia West LLC. Mr. Selman has 25 years of project finance, venture capital and infrastructure development experience worldwide. During his career, Mr. Selman has arranged approximately $1.5 billion in financing. Much of this experience was obtained in less developed countries, where availability of private capital is key, and in various market sectors including power generation and transmission, water and wastewater treatment, mass transit, air pollution control, automotive paint finishing, pulp and paper, oil and gas production, and refining and petrochemicals.
Mr. Selman holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Investments from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with Honors, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Selman serves as Chairman of Mobius Technologies, Inc. and Maser Corporation. He serves as a Director of MBA Polymers Inc. and E-Leather Ltd.
Mr. Selman has devoted his entire career to the development and financing of infrastructure and related technology. Early in his career, he designed and oversaw a corporate energy management program for Chesebrough-Ponds’ Inc. (purchased by Unilever) – a large, diversified consumer products manufacturer. In this role, Mr. Selman worked as a process engineer in the company’s many divisions spanning food processing (Ragu Foods), petrochemical refining (Vaseline), textiles (Health-Tex), chemical compounding and plastics injection molding (Ponds’ health & beauty products) and footwear manufacturing (Bass) designing energy efficiency programs encompassing central plants (improved efficiency of steam, hot water, chilled water, compressed air systems), manufacturing lines (e.g., heat recovery, steam system maintenance, process improvements, efficient motors), and building envelopes (HVAC, efficient lighting, energy management systems).
Mr. Selman continued his work in energy efficiency with Potomac Electric Power Company – the investor-owned electric utility serving the Washington, DC metro area. He was responsible for conducting energy audits of PEPCO’s largest commercial and governmental customers and making investment recommendations to building owners, property management firms and government agencies on opportunities to reduce peak electric demand and overall energy use without sacrificing comfort or building performance.
After completing his MBA in the mid-1980s, Mr. Selman joined a boutique investment banking firm specializing in structured finance for both private and federal sector clients. He was responsible for developing the firm’s practice in the emergent US independent power sector. Mr. Selman arranged landmark financing for one of the first independent power generation facilities in New England – a 14 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant serving a hospital complex in Hartford, CT. During this stage of his career, he worked with numerous project developers advising on the development of power plants throughout North America based a range of technologies including hydro, biomass, municipal waste-to-energy, sludge (from wastewater treatment plants), natural gas, coal and culm (waste coal). He also assisted in the development and finance of a development drilling program involving what was then a new technology – coal bed methane – in the Piceance Basin of Colorado.
Together with a partner, Mr. Selman worked on several privatizations of wastewater facilities, including one of the first successful such projects in the US, the privatization of regional wastewater system for the Borough of Downington, PA in a public-private partnership (“PPP”).
During the late 1980’s, the US experienced a dramatic slowdown in the development of independent power due to the deregulation of the electric generation sector by Congress. At that time, Mr. Selman’s focus turned to M&A and he executed the successful sale of a Texas-based environmental analytical laboratory to Severn Trent Labs of the UK – now the largest analytical laboratory company in the US. He also served as financial advisor to the US Department of Energy on a large project to privatize the clean-up of hazardous and radioactive tank wastes at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
In the early 1990’s, Mr. Selman served as a Vice President with ABB Financial Services serving as an “in-house investment banker” for his ABB client companies – the gas turbine and paint finishing divisions in the US and all of ABB’s Canadian businesses (power, pulp/paper). In this capacity, Mr. Selman structured and arranged financing to support ABB bids in North America, Latin America, China, India and West Africa. He structured and closed two large leveraged lease transactions (total $300 million) of paint finishing facilities in the US and structured and arranged $800 million in financing for ABB’s bid to privatize Amtrak’s train service on the Northeast Corridor with new high speed train sets, catenary and related services. Mr. Selman also arranged financing for several overseas bids for power generation facilities, pulp mills and chemical recovery boilers for the paper industry involving export credit agency (e.g. US Export-Import Bank, Canadian Export Development Corporation) and development bank (e.g., World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank) financing components.
Upon leaving ABB, Mr. Selman founded Energy & Environmental Ventures LLC, a specialized technology and project advisory firm. Under E&EV, Mr. Selman worked as an advisor on behalf of The World Bank in Bangladesh (structuring an International Development Agency credit facility to support Bangladesh’s fledgling independent power sector), Romania (structuring and raising private sector capital for an energy efficiency fund seeded by The World Bank), Slovenia (advising the government concerning the privatization of the national electric utility) and Cape Verde (advising the government on the privatization of the national electric/water utility). He also played a leadership role in The World Bank’s multi-country program to develop private sector sources of finance to serve rapidly developing energy efficiency markets in China, Brazil and India.
In the private sector, Mr. Selman served as financial advisor to an international consortium of companies (US, Canada, Sweden, Russia) to develop, own and operate a high voltage DC (“HVDC”) power transmission line connecting Siberia to the electric grid in the Beijing-Tianjin vicinity. He served as financial advisor on one of the first successful “merchant” power plants to be developed in the US – the 270 MW gas-fired combined cycle Berkshire Power project. Mr. Selman also advised The Rocky Mountain Institute on the successful spin-out of its for-profit affiliate, Hypercar Inc., including raising approximately $3.5 million in first round equity to finance the new venture. Hypercar (now Fiberforge) is commercializing breakthrough technology associated with “lightweighting” of vehicles through the use of innovative carbon fiber technology. He served as financial advisor to a US consortium on the development of a coal bed methane program in Venezuela in partnership with PDVSA – the Venezuelan national oil company. Mr. Selman advised numerous technology and project developers on a wide variety of energy- and environmental-related businesses including wind, photovoltaics, biomass, fuel cells, water treatment, hazardous and medical waste treatment, and many other “clean” technologies.
In 2001, Mr. Selman was approached by a Hong Kong family office to help develop their concept for a double-bottom line investment program connecting Western technology with markets in Asia. After the program was designed, Mr. Selman won the mandate to manage the North American/European component of the program. Thus was born Asia West LLC and the Asia West Environment Funds.
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