PowerFin's culture is based on integrity and reliability, and we never stray from our professional roots as engineers and value-based investors. Our capabilities, which range from early-stage development, to construction, and through to post-commissioning management, allow us to anticipate all aspects of solar projects.
Tuan Pham – President
Throughout his career, Tuan has focused on areas where energy and finance converge. Prior to his role in business development at HelioVolt, a thin-film solar company, Tuan covered energy and chemical companies at Morgan Stanley and Banc of America Securities in New York. During his time in leveraged finance, he worked on multi-billion dollar transactions and was recognized as a leading analyst by Institutional Investor magazine. Tuan’s experience also includes time at the Austin Clean Energy Incubator and Strategic Value Partners, a $5 billion hedge fund, where he served as a Director overseeing energy and industrials investments. He holds the CFA charter, a BSBA (cum laude) in finance from the University of Tulsa, where he was a student in the Honors Program, and an MBA from the University of Texas, where he was a Venture Fellow and a founding officer of the Cleantech Group. Tuan also has served on the Austin Local Solar Advisory Committee, a City Council-appointed committee to devise a plan for citywide solar development.
George Knapp – General Counsel
With nearly forty years of experience in global power markets, George has been involved in over 7,000 MW of fossil fuel projects and over 3,000 MW of renewable assets. His legal responsibilities at PowerFin include agreement vetting and approvals, contract and regulatory compliance, entity structuring and formation, and outside counsel selection, retention, and budgeting. In addition, George advises on acquisition, asset management, compliance, employment, finance, governance, investor relations, joint venture, major corporate event preparation, project development, real estate, risk management, safety, and tax matters. Knapp served as the Chair of the Environment, Energy, and Resources section of the American Bar Association and was recognized as one of the World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers by Euromoney. Prior to PowerFin, George served in senior legal and commercial capacities at NextEra, Wind Capital, and Microgrid Energy. He also was a partner in the energy and project finance practices at various law firms. George earned his B.A. (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from UCLA and his J.D. from George Washington University.
Michael A. Sullivan – CFO
Michael is an accomplished and results-oriented financial executive and business leader with over 25 years of experience in finance, accounting, operations, and management. At PowerFin, he is responsible for various facets of overall financial and operational needs, from administrative and operational structuring to raising private capital and negotiating privately placed debt. Beginning his financial career at Lomas Mortgage USA, Inc., he worked with several mortgage companies. Most recently, Michael served as CFO and Executive Vice President of Amherst Holdings, a $300 million real estate financial services holding company with over $2 billion in assets; he also as the Financial Operations Principal of Amherst’s SEC-registered broker-dealer. Michael earned a BBA in Accounting from The University Texas at Arlington and is a licensed CPA in Texas.
Katie Ngo – Vice President, Engineering
Katie Ngo oversees engineering, design, and operations for PowerFin. Prior to joining the firm, she managed the construction and installation of nearly 200 MW of wind generation at E.ON Climate and Renewables, a leading North American wind development company. Katie spent 6 years in the high-tech industry working for Motorola and Applied Materials. As an engineer at Applied Materials, she was selected as a Top Contributor for three consecutive years, and led a multi-disciplinary team to define, test and implement a new company-wide lifecycle management and CAD software. She has advised company executive management teams at the Austin Clean Energy Incubator, and performed energy analyses for the U.S. Department of Energy. Katie earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and her MBA from the University of Texas, where she was a founding member of the Cleantech Group.
Christopher Payne – Project Manager
Christopher Payne oversees project management for PowerFin. He manages the daily operations and deployment of installation and field resources. Prior to PowerFin, Christopher served in general management roles overseeing teams of over 50 field employees. In addition, his experience includes surveying and drafting in the renewables and conventional energy sectors. Christopher graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in economics. Subsequent to his undergraduate studies, Christopher has taken over 60 hours of engineering and operations courses.
Stuart Smith – Associate
Stuart Smith is responsible for financial analysis and modeling, asset management, and miscellaneous analysis and support functions. Prior to joining PowerFin, he was a credit underwriter in the Private Equity Sponsor Coverage group at BBVA Compass Bank, with prior underwriting experience in asset-based lending and mid-corporate leveraged lending. Prior to joining BBVA, Mr. Smith began his career in the Financial Services consulting practice at Ernst & Young. Mr. Smith earned his B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University.