A trailblazer at NextWave Partners and Senior Consultant in Renewables & Infrastructure, Ollie Powell tells us more about his coverage of the European and UK industries, what he is working on in the region leveraging his global experience and what he sees ahead of the curve.
What is your background and what have you been covering at NextWave Partners?
Oliver: I joined NextWave about 2 years ago when we were still quite small and I've seen the company a good amount of change. Since joining, I have been focusing on the Australian market, particularly helping companies from Asia and Europe looking to set up a presence in Australia and Singapore. A lot of my time last year was working with Infrastructure companies setting up in Singapore and introducing them to the local market, to then collaborating with some of my colleagues at NextWave to staff their project teams.
I was helping them structure their business in Asia, from due diligence to meeting people on the ground to get their projects going.
What is your strategic focus moving forward?
Oliver: Because we want to stay agile, a lot of my time is spent working with British companies that we have worked with previously Asia, and helping them with some of the challenges they are facing in Europe in the offshore and onshore markets. We have a few clients that valued our service in Asia and asked us to support their operations in the UK so it came to a point where we saw the need to set up an office in London to be able to truly focus on those companies.
I'm still focusing on European Infrastructure companies looking to set up shop in Asia from investment to project close.
But an added focus I have is growing our Offshore market in Europe. We already have a good client base in that area from our work in Asia, but it has been a true emerging market in Europe and we are leveraging our network over there.
What parts of the industry are you expecting to grow in Europe & the UK?
Oliver: One of the key areas we are watching at the moment is Ireland. It is quite a hot market, there is a lot going on here and there has been some regulatory change lowering barriers to entry. We work with a few developers looking at Ireland as the next market to enter and also some already existing Irish clients. Its an exciting country particularly from a wind perspective, both on and offshore, and we expect a lot of growth on that side.
More generally Offshore Wind is a high growth market throughout Europe and still in the UK with tenders being released towards the end of this quarter. We working some of the European majors going into Northern Europe, in the Baltic Sea for example.
Finally, Energy from Waste space is pretty big at the moment. I'm working with some big businesses looking at Europe globally to build out platforms over there.
What are you working on at the moment?
Oliver: Right now, I'm doing a lot of work with a European developer in Offshore Wind who is building a floating offshore platform and they are looking for professionals to help them lead that initiative. This platform itself is going to have a global impact on floating offshore and the company has a solid backing, making it a really interesting project.
Another project I am working on is supporting one of the largest solar developers who has reached financial close on a large scale PV project in Ireland and they are looking for someone to execute the construction.
I'm also working with a European Investor looking to come into Asia in Clean Infrastructure and Renewable Energy to set up an office in Singapore. This isn't a very mature market in terms of deals and workforce, so I'm looking at professionals with relevant experience from Europe and even Africa to lead that project. It's also an interesting project and shows how we capitalise on our global remit to service different geographies.
Where do you think your expertise as a recruiter can make a difference to the local industry?
Oliver: My global understanding that I gained throughout my experience, looking at the UK, Asia, and Australia is a differentiator I think. Working in those regions focused on Energy, gave me a solid overview of the markets and how they flow from investment stages to the actual development of projects.
I've also worked on some unique solutions in APAC to get staff on sites and deploy teams onto projects, which I think could be a helpful model to apply to some of the projects' challenges European companies are facing at the moment.
Where do you see NextWave making a difference as a recruitment brand in Europe?
Oliver: There are a good amount of recruitment brands focused on Renewables in Europe now. What I think sets NextWave apart is our in-depth understanding of the markets that we cover. Being immersed in the Renewable and Infrastructure industries globally puts us in a unique position, having a complete overview of what's ahead of the curve and knowing how to translate that information to the service of our clients. Particularly in some of the European markets experiencing a lot of change on the regulatory side particularly, we have been able to advise some of our clients accurately about their setups both on the investment and manpower side.
Another differentiator is the consultants part of the team. We're all passionate about the market and we strive to deliver an elite service to our clients through internal collaboration which I believe has been a driving factor of our success.
What are you personally enthusiastic about the market that you cover?
Oliver: I particularly enjoy supporting clean energy companies who have an appetite for growth, looking to go into emerging markets but are struggling on the recruitment side. It's a growing industry but there is a shortage of skills whether speaking of Europe or further afield. The experience that we've had as a business and I've had personally helping companies in challenging markets, can be utilised for European companies facing familiar challenges right now.
Another thing I enjoy is connecting the dots in the investment space across continents. Being able to introduce companies to each other and see a partnership lead to a closed deal is a rewarding part of my job.