Projects under the microscope
"I’ve always found a lot of value in continuing education. When you work in project development
and finance, and public-private partnerships in general, there is a constantly evolving set of best
practices and tools to utilise – and it’s certainly not an industry where one size fits all.
Currently I’m working on integrating new types of aircraft into transportation and aviation
infrastructure - that includes everything from the integration of drones at airport facilities, to
developing new models for deal structures to support the development of take-off and landing
infrastructure for electric aircraft. I also work on industrial project development and finance for
large-scale R&D and test track facilities for zero emissions transit vehicles.
The Project and Infrastructure Finance programme was the best way for me to fill skills and
knowledge gaps in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner. Beyond its global reputation for
excellence, London Business School was the only institution that offered an executive course in this
subject area. I was also attracted to LBS for its thoughtful approach to formulating a theoretically
substantive but practical curriculum.
Engaging with peers and exploring their individual experiences in project planning, structuring, and
implementation was another primary goal for me, so as to maintain currency in my field. I wanted
exposure to an international set of perspectives, and I knew London and LBS specifically would
provide that; I also felt that LBS effectively conveyed the net gains from the programme,
and offered a real value proposition.
My cohort boasted a wide diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds, which gave me a better
understanding of how variations across culture and geography influence deal structuring and project
outcomes. We had a wide range of project examples to work off - investigating the differences
between these projects was invaluable, especially applying general principles across them.
Project and Infrastructure Finance is a complex discipline, and Professor Karl Lins did a great job
translating theory into practice. He created a curriculum and programme structure that made the
content and pace of the course both accessible and digestible. We also had some excellent guest
speakers - one from John Laing was particularly interesting in his approach to P3s (the contract
between public and private sector entities that outlines the provision of assets and the delivery of
services) for prisons to reduce reoffending.
Finding out just how much project finance de-risks complex projects, and the role that
development banks play in structuring a successful outcome was key. No two projects are identical –
and there are a large number of social, cultural and political influencing factors outside my control –
but exploring a wide range of projects gave me the tools to mitigate risk from external influences.
I took my new knowledge and applied it to building out a new practice area in aircraft innovation
and urban aviation for multinational engineering services. One of the core aspects of this role is
formulating P3s and applying innovative project finance principles to build a brand new category of
aviation infrastructure that supports electric aircraft. I regularly reflect on what I learned on the
programme and also find I work more effectively across my international project teams."