Management Team

Non-Executive Directors

Sam Roch-Perks
Co-founder and CEO

Ronan Costello
Head of Wave

Christoph Harwood
Head of Aquaculture

Hugh Kelly
Co-founder and COO

Julius Besterman
Head of Engineering and Operations

Des Quigley
Financial Control

Anthony Gurnee
Board Member

James Astor
Board Member

Don Brockie
Board Member

Sam Roch-Perks – Co-Founder & CEO

Sam is a civil engineer who, with his Swedish wife, established Swirish International Ltd. This group of companies has interests in real estate in Western Sweden and Eastern Germany along with investments in the Food and Beverage, Agriculture and Renewables sectors. Sam has founded and developed a number of companies in the EU, Asia and the US including Delaney’s Irish Pub Chain in Asia and Swirish Property AB in Sweden.

Hugh Kelly, (COO and Director), MA BAI (Civ Eng) MBA MIEI AMICE Dip IOD

Hugh is CEO of Associated Marketing Ltd., an export management company. Previously, he worked with Atkins, specialising in water and environmental engineering. He has significant international business experience in the Middle East, Asia and Australasia. In 2016 Hugh was President of the Irish Exporters Association and holds a number of non-executive board positons in Irish and international companies.

Ronan Costello, (Head of Wave), BEng, PhD

Ronan is founder and CEO of wave energy consultancy company Wave Venture and through Wave Venture Ronan continues to provide wave energy related expertise to Simply Blue Energy. Ronan is a Mechanical Engineer whose career to-date has comprised work at wave innovative technology development companies interspersed with university-led applied R&D projects. Ronan has 12 years’ experience in the wave energy industry. Ronan has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, has worked at Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd. and Wavebob Ltd. and until founding Wave Venture was Assistant Director at the Centre for Ocean Energy Research at Maynooth University where he developed novel wave energy techno-economic analysis software.

Julius Besterman, Head of Engineering and Operations

Julius is a Mechanical Engineer with over fifteen years’ experience in the renewable energy sector, responsible for delivering a broad range of technically challenging schemes. Julius has a strong foundation of project and safety management and hands-on technical experience in both onshore and offshore renewable energy projects. In marine renewables, Julius has worked on the consultant team developing Wave Hub from concept through consenting, as Site Manager and Marine Supervisor for the deployment and subsequent three years of sea trials of a commercial scale prototype wave energy device off Cornwall, and more recently as Head of Engineering and Operations for the Wave Hub sites and high voltage infrastructure.

Christoph Harwood (Director, Simply Blue Aquaculture Ltd). MA (Oxon), MBA

Christoph started working in environmental finance over ten years ago, which led him into the blue economy via a tidal energy company, Sustainable Marine Energy, and other low carbon projects. He has brought together his experience from these and other sectors to develop the new model on offer to the salmon farming sector by Simply Blue Aquaculture. Christoph is also a Director of Simply Blue Energy.

Des Quigley (Financial Controller)

Des Quigley is Managing Director of Assetbase, a property sourcing and management company. He is a qualified auctioneer and valuer, and a full member of The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (MIPAV). Des has 15 years management experience in the investment property market, having founded his business in 2003. To date, this has predominantly been in the U.K., German and Swedish markets. Prior to this, Des was manager in a number of national businesses involved in agri-business, waste management and oil distribution.

Anthony Gurnee, (Non-Executive Director)

Anthony is Founder, CEO, President and Director of Ardmore Shipping Corporation ( Anthony founded Ardmore Shipping in 2010 and has built the company to a fleet of 27 high quality, modern products and chemical tankers with a further 9 vessels on order. Anthony oversaw a public floatation on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. Anthony has a long track record as a senior executive in the shipping industry including acting as CEO of Industrial Shipping Enterprises Inc., COO of MTM Group and CFO of Teekay Shipping Corporation

James Astor, (Non-Executive Director) UK company director and renewable energy entrepreneur.

James is chairman of reGen Holdings Ltd (a TPG portfolio company operating in the UK waste and renewable energy industry); and of Glenfarg Energy, an anaerobic digestion and composting company in Scotland owned by Albion Capital. He spent the previous 6 years in the UK organic waste recycling sector as managing director of Agrivert. In his earlier career, he has milked cows, brewed beer, baked bread and blended ingredients. He has lived in Russia and Cambodia and worked in the Far East, the Middle East and across Europe; but he and his American wife currently call the UK home. An ardent Europhile, he is still coming to terms with the result of the EU referendum in June 2016.

Don Brockie, (Non-Executive Director), B. Comm FCA

Don is a Chartered Accountant who, having trained at E&Y, has spent many years at Finance Director / CFO level in various companies both in Ireland and abroad. Don worked for a number of international companies, most notably spending 10 years as CFO with GSK. He also served for 13 years as Group Finance Director of the Bowen Group – an Irish group of companies primarily involved in construction and property development.