Riverstone hires BP top brass(4)

Riverstone has hired former BP executive Ralph Alexander, just weeks after appointing BP's former CEO, Lord Browne, to lead its European activities.

Energy-focussed Riverstone Holdings has hired former BP executive Ralph Alexander as a managing director, just weeks after recruiting the oil company's former chief executive Lord Browne of Madingly. Alexander will be based in the private equity firm's New York office.

At BP, Alexander was most recently chief executive of the company's chemicals subsidiary Innovene. Before, he was chief executive of BP's gas, power and renewables and solar segment. Alexander said in a statement renewables are an area in which he is particularly interested.

“Given the confluence of high oil prices and concerns around the environment, I believe the time has come for renewable and alternative energy to become mainstream,” Alexander said.

Riverstone is facing increased competition in this market. Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, is also backing increased interest in renewable energy with a cornerstone investment in Virgin Green, an expansion capital fund and his first institutional foray into private equity. The fund is targeting opportunities in renewable energy and the more effiicient use of traditional fuels.

European mid-market firm Hg Capital also boosted its dedicated renewables team with a couple of appointments this week.

Riverstone declined to comment on Alexander's hire.

Lord Browne of Madingly, BP's former chief executive, recently joined Riverstone Holdings as head of its new European arm. Lord Browne stepped down from his role at BP in January after a high court judge's ruling that he had lied in a legal case. He then joined Apax Partners, but left for Riverstone in late August.