Robin Saunders (born June 8, 1962) is an American financier, and the founder and managing partner of Clearbrook Capital Partners LLP, a London-based private equity firm which specialises in property, asset management, specialty finance and infrastructure finance.
She combined her enthusiasm for dance and business by taking degrees in both at Florida State University.
Saunders started her career at Chicago’s Northern Trust Bank in 1984 where she specialised in export finance, and from there joined Citigroup. In 1992 Saunders moved to London when she was appointed head of European securitisation at Chemical Bank. Following a stint at Deutsche Bank, in 1998 Saunders joined German bank West LB as head of its Principal Finance Group and agency Asset Securitisation division. While there, she was instrumental in a string of high-profile deals, including masterminding a bond to refinance Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One business; funding the redevelopment of London’s Wembley stadium; the acquisition of stakes in Mid Kent Water, a British water utility company, and Whyte and Mackay, a Scottish whisky company; and providing finance for Philip Green’s purchase of BHS Ltd. As a result of her work, Saunders has served on several UK boards, including Formula One Holdings; Pubmistress Ltd, parent company of Pubmaster group, the owner of approximately 3,200 pubs; The Office of the Rail Regulator; and Odeon Cinemas. Saunders left West LB after parts of BoxClever, a television-rental company that she helped to finance, went into administration, leaving the bank with significant losses. In April 2004, she set up Clearbrook with the backing of high-net-worth investors and financial institutions in Europe and the US.
Investments have included Eclipse Scientific Group, a food safety and testing company. Clearbrook financed a management buyout of Eclipse in 2004 together with an expansion programme which saw the company assemble 11 laboratories in the UK and Ireland before it was sold two years later to larger rival Inspicio.
In 2005, Clearbrook together with RIT Capital Partners took a 49 percent stake in Habourmaster, a Dublin-based credit manager. The sale of Harbourmaster to GSO Capital Partners, a unit of The Blackstone Group was announced in October 2011 for an undisclosed sum.
Saunders is a Visiting Fellow at The University of Oxford’s Said Business School, as well as a Director of Sadler’s Wells Development Trust and a Council Member of the Serpentine Gallery. In January 2013, Robin became Chairman of Hawk Group SA, a pan-European finance company.
- The Wall Street Journal – Tuesday, 18 October 2005, “Deal maker attempts a comeback.” Carrick Mollenkamp
- The Clearbrook Capital Website
- The Guardian – Saturday, 28 September 2002, “Beating the boys at their own game”. Jill Treanor http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2002/sep/28/wembleystadium.football
- The Financial Times – Wednesday, 19 July 2006, “Inspicio expands with Eclipse purchase.” Salamander Davoudi http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/44c180e6-16c2-11db-8b7b-0000779e2340.html
- “Derivative Fitch rating note”. http://www.harbourmaster.com/pdf/CAM_1_Rating_Profile.pdf
- “The Blackstone Website”. http://www.blackstone.com/cps/rde/xchg/bxcom/hs/news_pressrelease_6931.htm
- “The Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation Website”. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/centres/reputation/visitingfellows/Pages/RobinSaunders.aspx
- “The Sadler’s Wells Website”. http://www.sadlerswells.com/page/board-members
- “The Serpentine Gallery Website”. http://www.serpentinegallery.org/support.html