Mark Chaichian

Managing Partner

Prior to Buckthorn Partners, Mark worked at One Equity Partners (“OEP”) focusing on investments in the supply chain to the energy sector. Mark has worked on a significant number of transactions in the energy and oil & gas sectors with conglomerates, independents and many other private and public businesses. Before joining OEP, Mark worked at Marble Bar Asset Management, Clipper Windpower Plc and Morgan Stanley. Mark qualified as a chartered accountant at Andersen in the Energy and Resources group. Mark was a member of the British Olympic Association Audit Committee. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from Bath University. Member of Investment Committee.

Joe Connolly

Founding Partner and CFO

Prior to Buckthorn Partners, Joe was the CFO of listed mining company Sierra Rutile where he oversaw the company’s turnaround from a breakeven operation to EBITDA of over US$100 million. Prior to this, Joe led business development at Clipper Windpower until the business was sold to United Technologies. He was an equity analyst in Morgan Stanley’s industrial team, and spent six years in Deloitte’s energy & resources group. Joe is a chartered accountant, has a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and was an officer in the British Army’s Royal Engineers. Member of Investment Committee, and member of ESG Committee.

Nicholas Gee

Founding Partner

Prior to Buckthorn Partners, Nick was an Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development at Weatherford International. As part of the executive team, he also led the Company’s global business units and numerous business functions. During his time at Weatherford he was on the boards of Proserv, Borets International and Axon Energy Products. Nick started his career with BP as a petroleum engineer and subsequently worked for Petroline Wellsystems and Global Marine Drilling. Earlier in his career he established and developed companies and technologies in the energy sector, during which time he was also Chairman of an AIM listed renewable fuels company. Nick holds an MBA with distinction from Warwick Business School and a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham. Member of Investment Committee, and member of ESG Committee.

Lord Philip Hammond


Philip was a member of the UK cabinet for nine years until 2019 serving as Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He joined Buckthorn in January 2020 after leaving Parliament at the December 2019 General Election. In doing so, he resumes a business relationship with Colin Moynihan that stretches back 25 years and one with Mark Chaichian that goes back 15 years to when Mark led the re-structuring of Clipper Windpower, of which Philip was a Founder Shareholder. Philip was elected to Parliament in 1997 and joined the Shadow Cabinet in 2005, serving as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury throughout the Financial Crisis. He is a Member of the Privy Council and holds a first-class degree from Oxford in PPE.​

Lord Colin Moynihan


Colin was Minister of Energy in the Thatcher and Major Governments. He was responsible for renewable energy policy and the British Government’s R&D Energy Programmes. Prior to that he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment where he worked as a member of the three-man Ministerial Team on the privatisation of the water industry. He was Chairman of the UK Renewable Energy Advisory Group and was the first President of the British Wind Energy Association. A former Director of Rowan Companies Inc. for nineteen years, he was Executive Chairman of Consort Resources and then Executive Chairman of Clipper Windpower Europe. He is Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Security. Member of ESG Committee.

Rob Willings


Prior to Buckthorn Partners, Rob was a Director at Lime Rock Partners where he made growth capital investments in the energy sector. During 12 years at Lime Rock he was based in the UK, Canada and the Middle East and led investments worldwide. Rob started his career with Schlumberger as a field engineer. He subsequently worked for energy companies and service companies in consultancy and interim management roles whilst at management consultancy PA-Consulting before spending several years with Simmons and Company in Aberdeen. Rob holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. Member of Investment Committee, and member of ESG Committee

Nadine Fletcher-Patel


Nadine joined Buckthorn Partners in 2016. Prior to Buckthorn she spent six years at Weatherford working in both London and Houston in various corporate departments. Nadine has a degree in Communication from Sheffield University and is currently studying for an ACCA qualification.

Henry Saunders

Vice President

Henry joined Buckthorn Partners in 2019. Prior to Buckthorn he spent five years at PwC working across commercial due diligence, deal advisory and statutory audit, predominantly in the Energy, Utilities and Infrastructure sectors. Henry is a chartered accountant and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham.

Neil Hartley


Prior to Buckthorn Partners, Neil was a Managing Director at First Reserve where he led private equity investments in energy services and manufacturing companies outside the US. Neil has worked on a significant number of transactions in the energy services, power, utilities and energy intensive industrials sectors and with a specific focus on energy transition opportunities. Before joining First Reserve, Neil worked at McKinsey, Simmons & Company and Schlumberger. Neil holds a BA in Engineering, Economics & Management from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rip Zinsmeister


Rip has over 30 years’ experience in the Energy sector. He retired in Autumn 2022 as CEO of BP Midstream Partner and BP’s Chief Operating Officer for Mergers & Acquisitions. He was responsible for global coverage for Corporate, Refining and Marketing, and Alternative Energy. He also lead BP’s London M&A team. Rip has managed transactions in all of BP’s principal businesses and deal types, including venture cap, joint venture formation and dissolution, public offerings, and the more typical private transactions. Prior to his tenure in M&A, Rip was an Engineering Manager and CFO of Amoco’s E&P division in Denver Colorado. Rip is a graduate of the University of Chicago (MBA) and the Pennsylvania State University.
Our website uses necessary cookies in order for it to run. We would also like to use optional analytics cookies to improve the site, by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. These cookies do not directly identify the user. We won’t set optional cookies unless they are accepted. For more information on how our site cookies work, please see our Cookie Policy.