News

HOUSTON, TX—NOVEMBER 19, 2018—Spruce Finance, a leading owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., announced today that it has been acquired by HPS Investment Partners, a leading global investment firm with more than $46 billion of assets under management. Spruce will be headquartered in Houston and maintain its executive and M&A offices in San Francisco.

Spruce also announced that Christian Fong, the co-chairman of the board of directors since early 2017, has joined the company as president and CEO. Fong has built multiple billion-dollar real asset businesses and has an extensive executive, private equity and policy background in the clean power and energy sectors. He was co-founder of Renewable Energy Trust Capital, where he led the acquisition and development of more than $1 billion in wind and solar projects. A key participant in the establishment of the yieldco industry, Fong also serves in leadership roles on the boards of Terraform Power and Fong Management, LLC.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction took place through Spruce Holdings, a new corporate entity owned by HPS Investment Partners.

HOUSTON, TX, MAY 21, 2018 — Spruce Finance Inc., a manager for residential solar and energy efficiency assets and software provider, announced the formation and spin-off of an independent residential servicing company, Energy Service Experts (ESE), to expand its current asset management, operations, and maintenance solutions for third-party residential asset portfolios across the U.S. ESE’s solutions help other companies better understand performance drivers, accelerate resolution of issues in a cost-effective manner, and maximize the value of their portfolios.

The residential solar and energy efficiency markets have grown exponentially over the past decade and are expected to continue growing well into the next decade. Consumer-level asset servicing is experiencing a unique shift within the energy industry as distributed energy resources (DERs) expand and converge with consumer finance product servicing. Current energy servicing offerings are not well equipped to meet consumer-level asset servicing needs. However, ESE’s team has been meeting this need within Spruce since 2011, and now ESE offers that experience and service to the industry as an independent company.

As the market grows, there is a greater need for service providers that can deliver results to support consumer, technical and financial needs. ESE is uniquely positioned to meet this need in the industry since it has the largest portfolio of non-captive systems, extensive servicing experience for both third-party-owned systems and loan portfolios, and it provides the full scope of services through a single point of accountability.

ESE currently provides services to over 70,000 accounts comprising over $1 billion in assets. Other than ESE, there are no companies in the residential asset servicing space with the experience to understand and manage consumer credit profiles and payment behavior, manage maintenance of distributed solar assets, directly address both consumer technical and account-related inquiries, and generate fund financial statements. ESE is currently carrying out all of these activities on behalf of multiple asset owners including global financial institutions, utilities, consumer lending companies, cleantech venture funds, asset operators, and investment firms.

Jonathan Roumel, formerly Spruce’s vice president of operations, has been appointed president and chief operating officer of ESE. A longtime energy industry executive with extensive solar and renewables experience, Jonathan previously held executive operations roles at NRG Home Solar and BP Alternative Energy. Jonathan also served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he advised some of the largest global solar and renewable energy companies, and in risk management roles at Reliant Energy and Barclays Capital.

“I am excited to lead ESE as the energy industry shifts towards full-scope consumer servicing for distributed energy. We’ve set the stage for continued growth in the servicing sector as we maximize cash flow, minimize risk, and maintain a positive customer experience for asset owners,” said Roumel.