Renewable energy investment partnership targets projects in ASEAN

29 January 2019

A new $60 million Singapore-based investment entity has been formed to pursue renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia, with projects in the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar first in line.

To be based in Singapore, a trio of firms has announced the formation of CleanGrid Partners – a $60 million investment entity which will finance and operate renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia, with $20 million available for short term deployment and plans to build and manage a $100 million microgrid project portfolio in the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar within the next three to four years.

The companies which have come together on the new enterprise as equal shareholders include Singapore’s WEnergy Global, which has previously taken on several public and private sector clean electrification projects in the region, Greenway Grid Global, an investment company also based in Singapore and which counts Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company as a major shareholder, and ICMG Partners – a global management consulting firm.

Founded by Hitoshi Funahashi in 2000, and with decade-long ex-McKinsey staffer Fumihiro Ohba as its Head of Consulting, ICMG has operations in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, India and California, providing a range of business support and management services with a focus on sustainable growth – from intellectual capital management and corporate innovation to new business creation and strategy execution.New renewable energy investment partnership targets projects in Southeast Asia

With respect to the freshly announced CleanGrid Partners enterprise, IMCG aims to leverage its international resources and network to bring in innovative technologies and new corporate leaders and partners operating in a variety of sectors from around the world – using new business models and structures in an effort to address regional and global challenges and enhance electrification projects throughout Asia.

“We believe that investors, development and commercial banks and technology manufacturers worldwide must address the challenge to electrify the one billion people on our planet who have no or little access to electricity – of which over 100 million people live in Southeast Asia,” said ICMG Director Gen Funahashi, who came to ICMG via the M&A wing of Deloitte. “We can make an impact by leveraging on the best available intellectual capital and transforming the management mindset of companies and governments to bring innovative clean energy solutions to this part of the world.”

Already, CleanGrid partners has a microgrid project by WEnergy Global underway in the Western Philippines island of Palawan, with several other projects in the Philippine, Indonesia and Myanmar said to be in the pipeline. CleanGrid states its aim is for a rapid replication of the Palawan project to meet the growing demand for off-grid and decentralised electrification across Southeast Asia, including through smart micro-grids at industrial estate level in Singapore.

Referring to the issue of limited access to electricity in ASEAN and the approach of the new partnership, WEnergy Global CEO Atem Ramsundersingh said; “The near-term solution that delivers on immediate on-the-ground benefits is to build, own and operate smart micro-grids for off-grid electrification, which most multilateral agencies, investment companies and mega power companies are reluctant to embark on.”

Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global network

19 April 2019

Global tax specialists Taxand has admitted a new member firm in South Korea; Yulchon, pushing the network’s representation to 48 countries worldwide.

Born in 2005 in the wake of the Enron scandal as an alternative, independent tax-focused enterprise, Taxand has since grown to include member-firms on every continent, with a collective headcount of over 2,000 advisors worldwide. Adding to that list; Yulchon, a leading South Korean business law firm with more than 400 lawyers and 80 tax advisors of its own.

“Joining Taxand allows us to provide clients with the highest quality, cross border tax advice,” said Yulchon tax partner Kyu-Dong Kim. “Taxand’s international network provides a positive differentiation from other East Asian tax and legal firms. Its reputation for independent, specialist expertise fits well with Yulchon’s culture and we look forward to strengthening both our local and international tax services.”

A 2017 Chambers and Partners’ National Law Firm of the Year winner consistently recognised for its innovation, Yulchon was founded in Seoul in 1997 by five of South Korea’s leading attorneys to create “a village of lawyers”, with two decades of organic growth seeing the firm add international offices in Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Moscow, Jakarta and Yangon.Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global networkAccordingly, with the admission of Yulchon to its network, Taxand has now significantly expanded its Asia presence – its coverage in ten key Asia Pacific economies (including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and India) among the organisation’s representation in over 50 countries stretching to every corner of the globe, from Oslo to Melbourne and from Buenos Aires to Mauritius with the US and just about every European nation in between.

“Yulchon is a welcome new addition to the Taxand family, bolstering our strength in East Asia,” said Taxand Chairman Frederic Donnedieu de Vabres, a former Arthur Andersen consultant. “The firm will give our clients a broader scope of specialised tax expertise across the region. Our network has grown significantly in recent years and we look forward to working with our new colleagues and their clients.”

Be it in the areas of compensation, financial, energy, mergers & acquisition, real estate, disputes, or others, Taxand describes itself as entirely focussed on the tax aspects – “we do tax, and only tax. No audit or attest issues” – leveraging its global network to serve clients with their both local and international and cross-border tax advisory needs. In the US and UK the network is represented by Alvarez & Marsal affiliate A&M Taxand.