Renee Sass


As a Partner of Fairlead Advisors, Ms. Sass provides strategic, valuation, financial analysis and funding expertise to our clients. Ms. Sass has extensive experience in principal or advisory roles with private sector cleantech startups, global energy companies, private equity investors and government agencies.

Since joining Fairlead Advisors, Ms. Sass has provided consulting and interim management services for numerous companies. In 2014, Ms. Sass was interim-CEO of a motor engineering company, focusing on strategic planning and fundraising. Also in 2014, Ms. Sass assisted the management team and institutional owners of a Midwestern frac-sand producer with its financial planning and management. Since 2013, Ms. Sass has supported the M&A and financing activities for a California-based renewable energy company, helping the company with a major expansion of its platform through a $100 million acquisition. In other engagements since 2012, Ms. Sass has assisted several companies in fundraising and company divestiture processes.

Since 2009, Ms. Sass has worked with several federal lending programs in origination, credit analysis and portfolio management roles. She has been part of a credit team supporting the Risk Management Department of the Department of Energy Loan Program Office, which started with origination work in 2009, and has continued with credit review and portfolio management activities through 2015. Specific tasks included transaction review, negotiation and structuring, detailed credit analysis, review of final closing documents, and inter-agency presentation and interaction with the Department of Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget. She has worked on numerous cleantech corporate and power project finance transactions, including renewable (solar, wind, geothermal), nuclear and fossil-fueled generation projects. She has also provides services to the Department of Transportation, OPIC and the Small Business Administration.

Ms. Sass served from 2008 to 2010 as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for a client company, Visiam, a clean energy technology company providing an integrated solution to convert municipal solid waste and other biomass into energy. She led all forecasting and financial planning activities, identified target investors and met with numerous individual and fund investors in order to raise venture capital to construct an integrated pilot plant. She also participated in project development efforts for projects utilizing Visiam technology, and was responsible for all finance, accounting, human resources and risk management functions.

She spent four years, from 2004 until 2008, as the Chief Financial Officer of Excelsior Energy, Inc., a power development start-up actively developing a clean coal-fueled integrated gasification combined cycle power plant. In this role, she secured financing for project development, permitting and engineering while overseeing all finance, accounting, human resources and administrative functions for the start-up company, as well as debt and equity structuring for the $2.3 billion power plant.

From 1991 to 2002, Ms. Sass worked at NRG Energy, Inc., the third largest independent power producer in the world. Ms. Sass served in a variety of senior finance and development positions before joining the senior management team as Vice President-Strategic Planning and Portfolio Assessment. She also led a number of acquisition, greenfield development and financial transactions during her tenure, including a number of unique and ‘first of a kind’ transactions in the U.S. and abroad. She worked on a number of strategic planning and advisory activities with NRG’s largest shareholder, Xcel Energy, and in her last role at NRG, oversaw a $6 billion divestiture program.

Ms. Sass started her energy career in 1988 as member of the Utilities Consulting Practice of Ernst & Young, providing services to regulated and unregulated energy companies in the United States and Canada.

Ms. Sass teaches as an adjunct instructor of MBA and undergraduate finance courses at a variety of colleges and universities. Ms. Sass holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. with a double major in Communication Arts and Business Marketing from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, where she graduated summa cum laude.