A graduate of Oxford University and Amherst College, where he was a Rhodes scholar, Eric Fornell currently serves as the vice chairman of investment banking and capital markets at Wells Fargo Securities in New York. Eric Fornell’s past experience includes work at JP Morgan Securities in the area of energy and utilities, where he helped negotiate the Carbon Principles.
The Carbon Principles, announced in February of 2008, were a set of policies focused on the electric energy industry. Originally an agreement between Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, the principles were later signed on to by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Credit Suisse. Several environmental groups were also involved in the development of the policies.
The Carbon Principles called for enhanced diligence in the financing of electric power projects that affect climate change. This diligence focused particularly on the industry’s use of low-carbon energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and advanced energy technologies. The principles addressed the growing concern of multiple coal-fired power plants that were being constructed and the carbon risks that stemmed from them, and recognized the need for private industry to take steps to protect the environment.
Eric Fornell, a financial executive with over 30 years of experience, works in New York for Wells Fargo as the vice chairman of investment banking and capital markets. Experienced in the energy sector, Eric Fornell has a history of championing the benefits of clean energy. He played an important advisory role in NextEra Energy Partners’ acquisition of NET Midstream.
NextEra Energy Partners is a clean energy company that is committed to producing energy in a clean and responsible way. It has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for nine straight years. Based on its carbon emissions and green energy capacity, NextEra Energy is one of the top green utility companies in the United States and number four in the world.
NextEra Energy is headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida, and has annual revenues of over $17.5 billion. The company employs 14,300 people and has a presence in 27 states.
When NET Midstream was acquired by NextEra Energy in 2015, seven natural gas pipelines in Texas were added to the company’s resources. These pipelines have the capacity to carry 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day, with the potential for expansion. With existing nuclear, wind, and solar capabilities, this addition only strengthened the company’s commitment to provide energy to its customers in a responsible way.
University Liggett School
Eric Fornell serves as vice chairman of investment banking and capital markets at Wells Fargo Securities. Actively involved in educational initiatives, Eric Fornell has previously served on the board of trustees for the University Liggett School in Gross Pointe, Michigan.
The University Liggett School is driven by a curriculum which allows students to become active participants in their academic growth. This idea comes to fruition through the upper school’s four-year academic research program. In 9th and 10th grades, students develop skills that enable them to become critical thinkers, ask provocative questions, and perform research using modern methods. Over the next two years, students learn to make complex research inquiries.
Towards the end of their upper school experience, students put the skills and practices they’ve learned to use through the academic research project, in which they pose a question based on their unique passions and interests. In finding answers to their questions, students often work with local universities, health systems, and other organizations. The academic research project culminates in the Celebration of Research, where students share their findings through presentations.
Eric Fornell, vice president of investment banking and capital markets at Wells Fargo Securities, advises clients in the energy and utility industries. As one of the negotiators of the Carbon Principles, Eric Fornell worked with large banks and environmental groups to establish guidelines for financing coal-fired power generating plants.
The Carbon Principles focus on reducing carbon emissions by encouraging energy efficiency, renewable sources, and low carbon energy technologies. Banks who sign the principles agree to encourage clients to invest in cost-effective renewable energy solutions as well as support regulatory changes that remove barriers to such investments.
Three clear commitments that take into account the value of avoiding carbon emissions are laid out in the principles. They include encouraging clients to consider low carbon energy alternatives, evaluating the risk of financing fossil fuel generation, and educating others in the financial and energy industries regarding the additional diligence necessary in the financing of fossil fuel generation.
Green Vale School
Eric Fornell serves as vice chairman of investment banking at Wells Fargo Securities in New York, New York. He advises on financial matters, primarily using his expertise to serve clients in the energy and utility sectors. Additionally, Eric Fornell sat on the board of the Green Vale School on Long Island for more than a decade.
The Green Vale School is a co-ed, nonreligious, independent day school in New York. It was created almost 100 years ago by parents who sought to provide a peerless education that would serve its students for the rest of their lives. As part of the school’s commitment to true excellence, it boasts class sizes as small as eight in the younger grades, and 13 to 16 in the upper forms.
In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, Green Vale students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of enriching hands-on learning activities. Students have access to education in the arts and theater, and there is even a wood shop.
In the woodworking studio, students as young as second graders can learn the basics of woodworking. They practice safety skills and complete projects like wooden puzzles and beautiful model sailboats.
NextEra Energy Partners
Eric Fornell is a longtime New York investment banking executive who serves as vice chairman at Wells Fargo Securities. He provides strategic advisory services in both the energy and utility industries. In August, 2015, Eric Fornell and Wells Fargo acted as advisors in a major acquisition by the solar and wind power generator NextEra Energy Partners LP (controlled by NextEra Energy Inc.).
The $2.1 billion transaction involved the purchase of closely held NET Midstream and added seven Texas natural gas pipelines to the firm’s portfolio. It significantly added power plant fuel sales capacities, with an end market in Mexico under a 20-year Pemex ship-or-pay contract.
The scope of assets acquired encompassed 3 billion cubic feet per day of Texas shale gas production and an Eagle Ford formation pipeline. For NextEra Energy Partners, it marks a broadening of business activities from renewable-energy power assets into pipelines. One strategic reason behind the transaction involves sustained Mexican natural gas demand increases, as well as a declining domestic Mexican natural gas supply.
Eric Fornell is vice chairman of investment banking and capital markets for Wells Fargo Securities. From his base in New York City, Eric Fornell has been instrumental in expanding the company’s investment banking efforts into Canada.
A story published in the Toronto Globe and Mail portrayed Fornell as experienced in his field and able to avoid potential problems in business situations through capable dealings. The article described Fornell as “a veteran U.S. banker” who skillfully “stick-handled the file” when working to advise TransCanada Ltd. on acquiring the Columbia Pipeline Group.
American banks have increasingly begun to push into Canada, peddling their lending capabilities, and have won some of the choicest merger-and-acquisition contracts available in that country. But according to the Globe and Mail article, it takes more than their lending power to win Canadian business. Wells Fargo’s experience in handling companies looking to make hard-asset acquisitions has been helpful, and having experienced representatives like Fornell on hand who are well-versed in the peculiarities of companies they are working with can be just as essential.