Joined Rock Rail March 2020

Jim is an experienced global financier with a strong track record for structuring complex infrastructure and asset financing transactions for transport, health, energy, telecommunications, property and aircraft leasing and other sectors. He brings with him over fifteen years of rail industry experience.

Prior to joining Rock, Jim spent over thirty-seven years at Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA), as Senior Vice President of Direct Lending, (2017-2020), Infrastructure Finance (2011-2016) and Project and Asset Finance (2006-2010), and completed secondments to London, including one to Rock Rail in 2016, and New York.

During his time as Senior Consultant at Rock Rail, Jim arranged £700m funding for the acquisition of two large rolling stock fleets, for Rock Rail East Anglia, arranging a senior loan facility from six major European and North American institutions.

Jim has experience in raising all forms of capital and has worked with major contractors (CIMIC, Lend Lease, Acciona, Bombardier, Alstom), investors (InfraRed, Macquarie, Hastings, John Laing, Aviva Investors) and banks, as well as global institutional (non-bank) lenders.

Mark founded Rock Rail in 2014, having established sister company Rock Infrastructure in 2011, following a highly successful career in law at Clifford Chance (10 years) and DLA Piper (18 years).

Mark has over 35 years of experience working in the City of London, New York and Europe. For the last 28 years, he has specialised in developing innovative funding, financing and procurement strategies for major infrastructure projects, working to ensure the alignment of public and private sector interests and to deliver substantially improved public sector value for money.

Since founding Rock Rail, Mark has led the business in securing £3 billion of institutional investment into new passenger rolling stock for UK rail franchises. He is a director for the companies established to finance and lease each of Rock Rail’s fleets to the rail franchises.

Under Rock Infrastructure, Mark was Commercial Director on the landmark Mersey Gateway Bridge Project and principal advisor on the transformation of CAE’s helicopter training facility PPP.

As a lawyer, Mark created and led DLA Piper’s Commercial and Projects Group and in 2007 became Global Head of DLA’s Infrastructure and Defence Sector.

Natalia started working with Rock in March 2020 as commercial project manager. She will be working with the Rock Rail team focussed on the development of opportunities in the Australian market as well as initially supporting the German market team.

Prior to Rock Rail, Natalia had a 17-year career with Abellio Group, with key experience in the rail franchise bidding function, as lead financial modeller and rolling stock and operations finance analyst.

At Abellio, Natalia was most recently involved in the winning East Anglia and West Midlands bids, where she supported on new fleet procurement and contractual arrangements with the funders, manufacturers and maintainers.

Natalia was project manager for the East Anglia Class 720 Aventra fleet, taking responsibility for daily project management, coordination of engineering and operations teams, and commercial and stakeholder management. Being ‘embedded’ in this project at the Bombardier Derby site, she developed practical knowledge of production, quality and design process and contributed to the operator’s roll-out strategy for the new fleet.

Natalia also provided commercial and analytical support to the Joint Project Manager for the new build of Rock Rail’s class 745/755 fleet for East Anglia.

Mike joined the business in December 2018 in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer heading up Rock Rail’s expanding asset management operations. Most recently he has taken up the role of Chief Originations Officer responsible for new rolling stock and rail infrastructure opportunities and fleet delivery across all markets.

With over 10 years of rail industry experience, Mike has a wealth of commercial, franchise bidding and asset delivery expertise.

Before joining Rock Mike was Franchise and Programmes Director and Deputy Managing Director for Abellio Greater Anglia leading the procurement and delivery of over 1000 new rolling stock vehicles, working closely with manufacturers to design, build and deliver modern high specification rolling stock for the passengers of Greater Anglia. Prior to this Mike was Abellio’s UK rail business development director and oversaw the successful expansion of Abellio, winning the ScotRail and Greater Anglia Franchises.

Mike’s previous roles have spanned a number of other infrastructure focussed industries across Europe and North America, including water and waste, working on the finance, structuring and development of large multidisciplinary infrastructure projects.

Matthew has over 18 years of experience of the infrastructure sector.

Since joining Rock in 2011, Matthew has played a leading role in the negotiation of the commercial aspects of all of Rock’s fleet.  He also played a lead role in the procurement and delivery of the Mersey Gateway Bridge PPP, which successfully opened in October 2017. In January 2020, Matthew started as Rock’s Head of Compliance and Risk to support the successful delivery of Rock’s fleets and later that year became Rock’s Chief Investment Officer.

Matthew has acted as a deal principal, financial advisor, a joint lead arranger and bookrunner and a legal advisor on infrastructure projects which gives him a unique perspective and insight into how to structure a project to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Matthew has specialized in PPP across all sectors from roads, parking and airports to the healthcare and education sectors, both in the UK, Europe and North America.

Prior to joining Rock, Matthew worked as a Vice President in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s infrastructure finance group (in New York) and was an Associate in DLA Piper’s commercial and projects team (in London).

Nick has worked in the infrastructure sector since the mid-1990s when he was part of the team that privatised the UK’s rolling stock leasing companies. Since then he has focused in the transport and equipment sectors acting as financial advisor, arranger and financial equity sponsor. He has acted on behalf of both the public and private sectors which has given him important insights into the key drivers which ensure projects can be bid and delivered such that they meet all stakeholders needs.

Over recent years he has focussed on establishing Rock’s rail leasing business, using his experience of the sector and funding to develop a more competitive funding structure and build a successful business which funds and will lease over 1,500 vehicles in the UK.

Prior to joining Rock in August 2012 he was at Amber Infrastructure (manager and advisor to a number of infrastructure funds, including International Public Partnerships, “INPP”), Babcock & Brown, Societe Generale and Hambros Bank.

Ed graduated with First Class Honours and a Dean’s commendation in Civil Engineering in 2018, joining Rock later that year.

He helped execute the closing of the East Midlands and West Coast transactions in 2019, with a combined deal value of £750m. He also supports the origination of new opportunities in the UK and abroad.