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WHO WE ARE

Akkadian is an infrastructure focused development and finance corporation. Akkadian partners with sponsors to structure transactions, identify partners/contractors and arranges debt and equity capital ($80-$600 million) for our clients. We have experience in power (renewable/conventional/pipelines), hospitals and other specialized healthcare facilities, medical schools/institutes, marine infrastructure, franchise expansion and resort/hotel projects.


Our firm  has significant recent experience working in the USA, Middle East Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Our professionals have senior level private and public backgrounds and specialize in complex and one-of-a kind greenfield and brownfield projects. Akkadian was established in 2008 and its affiliate Penn Quarter Strategies I was established in 2012.

 

PARTNERS

Get to know the amazing people behind Akkadian. Our team has served as President and COO of the Overseas Private Development Corporation, Bechtel Energy, the International Trade Administration and in senior positions at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and Information and Infrastructure Technologies, among others. We’ve built outstanding relationships with our customers, as we are always focused on providing exceptional service. Read all about our team below, and get in touch with questions.

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ROSS CONNELLY

Managing Partner

Ross Connelly Managing Director of Akkadian Private Ventures, a company he founded in 2005 to pursue project development opportunities in the Broader Middle East region. Prior to 2005, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (renamed U.S. Development Finance Corporation), an independent US Government agency charged with mobilizing US private capital into developing economies. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as OPIC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in August 2001, and was subsequently confirmed by the US Senate.


Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Connelly was affiliated with the Bechtel Group of companies for 21 years. He was CEO of Bechtel Energy Resources Corp. from 1991 to 1995, overseeing the organization of the company and various developmental efforts in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Between 1983 and 1991, Mr. Connelly was a managing principal with Bechtel Investments, Inc. and also served as managing partner of the successor entity Fremont Group, Inc. In 1993, Mr. Connelly was elected president and vice chair of the NorthGas Ltd. joint venture between Bechtel and the Russian State gas concern, Gazprom, to develop gas condensate resources and related transmission and processing infrastructure in the Western Siberian Arctic.

After leaving Bechtel, beginning in 1996, Mr. Connelly pursued various energy and natural resource ventures in the Former Soviet Union. In 1998 Connelly ran for U.S. Congress in Maine’s 1st Congressional District and subsequently served as Maine State Chairman for the “Bush for President” campaign. Mr. Connelly taught a Corporate Finance course at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service for five years where he served as an Adjunct Professor.

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GRAYSON P WOLFE, ESQ

Partner

Mr. Wolfe is a founding partner at Akkadian and its affiliate company Penn Quarter Strategies I, LLC. From 2002-2007 Mr. Wolfe served as Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). He also served as Director of Iraqi Reconstruction and Director of Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives at EXIM Bank.

From 2017-2021 he served as Executive Vice President of Information and Infrastructure Technologies, LLC an American cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection and intelligence company with 24 years experience providing solutions to commercial and government clients. 

In 2004, he served as Manager of the Private Sector Development Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq where he was responsible for implementing a range of initiatives to attract foreign direct investment and establish financing programs to support Iraq Reconstruction. During this time he worked extensively with international financial institutions to deploy financing into Iraq. 

From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Wolfe worked as an attorney for the law firm of Fleischman and Walsh, LLP, where he represented clients engaged in Homeland Security, Telecommunications and Intellectual Property matters. He served as a member of a seven-person team that worked with the North American Railroads and Chlorine Chemical Industries to develop a National Homeland Security Risk Analysis and Management Plan. This plan was adopted by the Class I Freight Railroad CEOs.

Mr. Wolfe served as Legislative Director and Counsel for members of Congress from 1999-2002. He has also served in numerous positions in presidential, federal and state political campaigns. Before this, he worked for Citicorp in Poland focusing on emerging markets and franchise development opportunities in Central and Eastern European countries.

Mr. Wolfe has a BA in Government from Virginia Tech (In Honors) and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. He was awarded the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award by the Department of Defense for his service in Iraq. Mr. Wolfe frequently contributes to publications on national security topics.

 
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DR. PETER WATSON

Senior Advisor

Peter is President & CEO of The Dwight Group, the D.C.- based investment bank, serving earlier as President Bush 43’s President & CEO of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Prior to OPIC, Peter was Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, and Senior Advisor to Armitage Associates, LLC. Peter served at the White House from 1989-1991 as President Bush 41’s Director of Asian Affairs/National Security Council, previously serving as Outside Counsel to the NSC, 1983 to1988.

In July 2108 Dr. Watson became a Partner in the Trans Guatemala Pipeline project (TGP), and serves as its EVP for Policy.

Peter is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Award for Public Service, and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Peter has served on the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the Board of Visitors for the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and as Visiting Professor, St. Peter’s College, Oxford University. Other appointments include Distinguished Lecturer/Adjunct Faculty Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Peter was long-term co-chair of the American Bar Association's Senior International Appointment’s Committee, and holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees in International Economic Relations from McGill University, and a L.L.B. from Auckland University Law School. He also holds an MBA in International Business.

Peter has published over 50 articles on international business and trade policy. He is author of The Economic Arsenal in the War Against Terror, principal author of Completing the World Trading System: Proposals for a Millennium Round, and is co-author of CSIS’s National Conformity Assessment Schemes: Non-Tariff Trade Barriers in Information Technology.

Peter is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Advanced Materials, appointed by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi. On January 1, 2002, Dr. Watson was awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), by Queen Elizabeth II, and on January 1, 2012, she awarded him Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).

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CARTER LAWSON, ESQ

Senior Advisor

Mr. Lawson is a Senior Advisor to Akkadian/PQS and has previously been a partner in certain Akkadian/PQS transactions. Mr. Lawson has served as Legal Counsel at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy from 2020 to present. He previously served as General Counsel for Barakah One Company, Emirates Nuclear Corporation from 2017-2020.


Earlier he previously served as Deputy General Counsel at the Export-Import Bank of the United States and managed its staff comprised of twenty-three attorneys providing a full range of legal services in support of over $24 billion in financing of U.S. exports annually to a variety of international markets.


As the senior attorney on the professional staff, Mr. Lawson played a leadership role in every aspect of the Bank’s operations, including structuring complex cross-border transactions, asset management and restructurings, and providing counsel to the staff attorneys working on all of the Bank’s transactions.


Mr. Lawson also served as Chief Counsel of UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC, a joint venture company co-owned by Constellation Energy Group and Électricité de France and established to develop, own and operate new nuclear plants in North America. In that position, he and the CFO managed UniStar’s efforts to develop and implement the multi-billion-dollar financing strategy for Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project.

Mr. Lawson received his J.D. and LL.M. (International and Comparative Law, with Distinction) from Georgetown University Law Center. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia.

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DR. DENIS SLAVICH

Senior Advisor

Dr. Denis Slavich is a senior advisor at Akkadian. Dr. Slavich has more than thirty five years of international experience in management, finance, marketing and sales, and project development. He has worked in financial services, engineering, construction, energy and power development, desalting, and high technology companies.
 
This experience has included over ten years of experience as a CFO for both publicly traded and privately owned companies ranging in size from multi-billion dollar companies to start ups. Dr Slavich also has extensive experience in corporate and project finance and international business in all parts of the world, and has served and continues to serve on numerous boards of directors. 
 
The companies he has worked for include Bechtel, Fluor Daniel, Morrison and Knudsen, M W Kellogg, BigMachines, Leading Edge Technologies, and Global Capital Group.  Dr Slavich has a BS degree in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley, an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in economics and finance from MIT.

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MICHAEL TANG

Senior Advisor

Mr. Tang is the Senior Strategic Marine Advisor to Akkadian. He is an experienced Class A pilot, with 40 years of wide-ranging experience and expertise in harbor pilotage/towage and marine/bunkering operations. He specializes in port development, and the regulatory and liberalization of marine services. From 1985 to 1995 he served as the Pilot Superintendent of the Port of Singapore Authority (“PSAC”). During this time his main responsibility was to provide a quality pilotage service by managing an international pool of more than 100 pilots as well as the logistics involved in carefully planning and operating more than 200 piloted ship movements per day with the Port of Singapore.

 
 
Before this Mr. Tang was actively involved in the privatization of the Port of Singapore Authority in 1996. Thereafter, he transferred to the regulatory body of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (“MPA”) the agency tasked to regulate and promote Singapore’s port interests and maritime affairs. From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Tang was the Assistant Director of the Marine Service Department of the MPA where he actively regulated and promoted the bunkering business and played a pivotal role in growing Singapore into one of the most successfully bunker ports in the world. During this period he was a prominent Member of the Singapore Pilot Age Committee. He was also the Project Director of the Master Port Improvement Plan for the Port of Singapore and served for two years as the Director of the International Association of Port and Harbors. In 2005, Mr. Tang left the service of the Port and is now an active marine consultant.

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CHRISTIAN BALEY

Senior Advisor

Mr. Bailey is a Cofounder of Lincoln Group, an emerging markets private equity group that partnered to form Akkadian.


Mr. Bailey’s responsibilities include the evaluation and structuring of emerging markets investment transactions, as well as the development of key partner and coinvestor relationships.


Lincoln Group has made successful investments in some of the most challenging countries across the Middle East, including Iraq. Investments in the region include Lincoln’s media and strategic communications companies, which had over 200 employees across the Middle East. 

Mr. Bailey formerly served as a Managing Director at Lincoln Asset Management Group, heading their private equity division. Previously, Mr. Bailey founded Akaru, an international trade logistics provider which became the largest worldwide company focused on automating customs clearance and settlements and was ultimately acquired by NewChannel in 2001.

He also served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at one of Akaru’s Venture Capital investors in Palo Alto, CA where he advised portfolio companies and identified, evaluated and developed emerging technology investments, including sourcing and nurturing spin-outs from Raytheon and Kodak. 

Mr. Bailey holds a Bachelors and a Masters in Economics & Management from the University of Oxford. 

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KEVIN CONNELLY

Financial Representative

Kevin Connelly is a Financial Representative to Akkadian/PQS. He was brought on board in in 2019 to assist with the Oman American Hospital Project. Before that Mr. Connelly was a general consultant in hospitality, providing financial services to restaurant and hotel owners. In 2019 he assisted KSL Capital Partners with their acquisition of Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania, a property valued at roughly $150M. From 2017-2018 he was a founding member of “Founding Spirits Distillery,” a small distillery based out of Washington D.C. and owned by the Farmers Restaurant group. From 2016-2017 he was a beverage manager for the Farmers restaurant group. He holds a
B.S. in Finance from the Kogod School of Business at American University.