Board of Directors
Karen Simon is newly retired from J.P. Morgan as a Vice Chairman in the Investment Bank with over 35 years of corporate finance experience with the firm.
Most recently, Ms. Simon headed up Director Advisory Services, a newly established client service at J.P. Morgan focused on public company directors. From 2004 to 2016, Ms. Simon worked with private equity firms in J.P. Morgan’s Financial Sponsor Coverage group and was promoted to head the European group in 2007 and the North American group in 2013.
Ms. Simon held a number of other senior positions previously, including Co-Head of EMEA Debt Capital Markets and Head of EMEA Oil & Gas coverage. Ms. Simon spent 20 years of her career working in London and is a dual US/UK citizen.
She currently sits on the boards of Aker ASA in Oslo, an industrial investment company, and the Texas Woman’s Foundation, a non-profit charity focused on the needs of underprivileged girls and women across Texas. Ms. Simon graduated from the University of Colorado and has Masters degrees from Southern Methodist University and from the American Graduate School of International Management.
Mr. Rigas is a founding shareholder of Energean. He is a Petroleum Engineer with a combination of oil & gas and investment banking experience.
He has been the CEO of the Group since 2007 and has led Energean to successful listings on the London Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and a couple of transformational deals, namely the acquisition of the Karish and Tanin fields, offshore Israel, in 2016, and the acquisition of Edison E&P in 2019. Under his leadership, Energean has been able to secure $3bn financing for its projects and become the first E&P company in the world ever to commit to becoming a net zero emitter by 2050.
Being a leader of a rapidly growing E&P group, Mr. Rigas won the ‘Executive of the Year’ at the Oil and Gas Council’s Awards of Excellence in 2018.
Prior to setting up Energean, Mr. Rigas spent 18 years in investment banking and private equity investments in oil & gas, project finance and shipping (Capital Connect Value Partners, Piraeus Bank’s Shipping Investment Banking division). As Vice President of Shipping, Energy & Project Finance at Chase Manhattan Bank in London (1993-1999), Mr. Rigas arranged financing in excess of US$5 billion, mainly in the oil & gas sector.
He holds a Degree in Mining and Metallurgical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MSc / DIC Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College.
Mr. Benos has extensive experience of working on international projects in the oil & gas sector, both in banking and industry, with a long track record of upstream financings in emerging markets.
He joined Energean from Standard Chartered Bank, where he worked as a Director in their London Oil & Gas team to deliver a number of significant projects and acquisitions in Africa, Asia and Middle East.
Mr. Benos previously worked for ConocoPhillips, where he held positions in European Treasury, North Sea Economics and International Downstream, with a focus on the North Sea, Central Europe and Middle East business. Mr. Benos began his career with Royal Bank of Scotland.
He is a Chartered Accountant (ICAS) and holds an MSc in Shipping, Trade & Finance from Cass Business School.
Mr. Franklin has over 45 years' experience as a senior executive in the oil and gas industry. Mr. Franklin began his career at BP where he spent 18 years latterly as Head of M&A at BP Exploration. After BP, Mr. Franklin was Managing Director of Clyde Petroleum followed by being CEO of Paladin Resources until its acquisition by Talisman Energy in 2005.
Mr. Franklin has extensive experience as a non-executive director including Amec Foster Wheeler plc (2016-2017), Keller Group plc (2007-2016), Equinor A/S (2015-2019), Premier Oil PLC (2017-2021), Santos Limited (2006-2017), and a member of the advisory Board of Kerogen Capital LLC (until 30 September 2021).
Mr. Franklin holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Southampton. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to the Oil & Gas industry.
He is also Chair of international energy services group, John Wood Group PLC, and a non-executive Director of Kosmos Energy.
Mr. Bartlett has over 30 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas industry with most of that time spent in emerging markets. He has spent 11 years as an investment banker in the City and subsequently 5 ½ years in the Private Equity business and was the former Global Head of Oil & Gas Mergers and Acquisitions and Project Finance at Standard Chartered Bank plc.
He currently advises an African private equity group, Helios Investment Partners LLP on their oil investments and sits on the boards of several public and private companies in addition to running his own advisory business.
He currently is a Non-Executive Director of Africa Oil and Impact Oil & Gas. He heads the Audit Committee of the former and sits on the Audit Committee of the latter, while he is a member of the Remuneration and Nomination / Governance committees of both companies. He is on the Advisory Board of Upside Energy, who manage an EU funded initiative to discuss energy security issues for the EU. He was previously Chairman of Azonto Energy (ASX listed) and a NED of Eland Oil & Gas (AIM listed).
Prior to that Mr. Bartlett worked for Royal Dutch Shell for 21 years, having helped to establish Shell Capital after a long international management career as a Petroleum Engineer. Postings with Shell included offshore North Sea, The Netherlands, Somalia, New Zealand, Syria and London. He was a qualified Corporate Finance and Futures and Options Representative with the FSA.
He holds an MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College London.
Mr. Topouzoglou is an entrepreneur with more than 35 years’ experience in founding and growing companies in the energy transportation sector.
He is a founding partner of Energean. He is also the principal shareholder and founder of Prime and serves as Chief Executive Officer since 1999, a predecessor of PRIME Tanker & PRIME Gas, a worldwide leading international product tanker and gas carrier management company with a fleet of 44 modern product tankers, LPG and Ammonia carriers.
Mr. Topouzoglou also serves as Chairman of the board of First Lease Ship Trust, a listed shipping trust on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
He holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Athens, Greece.
Amy Lashinsky is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Alaco, an international risk management company. She has over three decades’ experience advising multinationals, financial institutions and investors on matters such as reputational risk and ESG criteria, delivering intelligence to support transactions around the world, particularly in emerging markets. She also works with global law firms and their clients to help enforce judgments brought about through arbitration or litigation.
Ms. Lashinsky trained as a securities analyst on Wall Street before joining Kroll in New York in 1985. She moved to London in 1988 to help establish Kroll’s first overseas office, where she became Managing Director of its business intelligence unit. In 1995 Ms. Lashinsky set up her own firm, Asmara Limited, which was sold to NYSE-listed Armor Holdings in 1998. She co-founded Alaco in 2002.
Ms. Lashinsky is a dual US/UK citizen and is a Trustee of the Rathbones Folio Prize. She graduated from the University of Michigan with BA in Political Science and Economics.
Kimberley Wood is a legal professional with 20 years’ experience and a specialist in M&A and the oil and gas sector.
Most recently she was Head of Oil and Gas for Europe and the Middle East at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and remains a senior consultant for the firm. Throughout her career she has advised a wide range of companies in the sector, from small independents through to super‐majors. Ms. Wood was a partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP from February 2011 to April 2015 and was previously at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. She is included in Who’s Who Legal Energy 2020 and as an expert in Energy and Natural Resources by Euromoney’s Expert Guide, Women in Business Law (2020 Edition).
Ms. Wood is currently a Non‐Executive Director of Africa Oil Corp., Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Valeura Energy Inc. She is Chair of the Remuneration Committee for Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Chair of the Governance and Compensation Committee for Valeura Energy Inc.
Ms. Wood is a dual British / Canadian citizen. She undertook her LLB at the University of Edinburgh and has an LLM in Public International Law from University College London
Andreas Persianis is currently the Managing Director of Fiduserve Asset Management in Cyprus , a regulated Alternative Investment Fund Management company that sets up and manages private funds for a diverse range of private and institutional clients.
Before that he was Founder and Managing Director of Centaur Financial Services , a discretionary portfolio management company with presence in the UK and Cyprus.
He has served as a Non Executive Director at Central Bank of Cyprus ( 2014-2019) and on the Bank of Cyprus Board in 2013. He was recently elected to the board of Hellenic Bank ( pending ECB approval ) as an independent Non Executive Director.
He started his career at Bain & Co strategy consulting in London. He holds an Engineering undergraduate degree from University of Cambridge and an MBA.