Bruce Bernard – Chairman & CEO
Bruce Bernard is a Partner in Stone Bridge Energy Partners LLC, a developer of diversified energy and chemicals projects based in Houston, Texas. Bernard is a seasoned energy executive with over 25 years of energy projects experience including the development of midstream infrastructure, gathering systems, salt cavern storage, power projects, LNG, GTL and global scale methanol. He is also an entrepreneur and investor with deep experience in building businesses from concept to commercialization.
Formerly, Mr. Bernard was co-Founder and Executive Vice President for ZEEP Incorporated, a leading developer of world scale methanol projects including South Louisiana Methanol. In this role Bernard worked closely with colleagues, project partners and investor from origination through all phases of project development. Bernard’s early career was in the energy hub management business with stints at Moss Bluff and Egan. Bernard is Tejas Power veteran and was an early employee of Cheniere Energy where he was responsible for site selection, commercial contracting and risk controls. Bernard developed the “Tolling-PLUS” concept and coined the term when developing the business strategy for Tejas Power Corporation in the late 1980s. Bernard has since applied the same concept at Red River Compression and Cheniere Energy, Inc., shepherding growth of the latter company from $20 million to over $2 billion between 2001 and 2004.
Mr. Bernard received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
Robert E. Toker – Partner & President
Rob Toker is a Partner at Stone Bridge Energy Partners LLC, based in Houston. In this role, Toker is responsible for corporate growth from strategy development, refinement, analysis and execution planning. Further, he is responsible for the Partnership’s overall development approach and capital formation plan. Toker was ZEEP Inc’s EVP, Corporate Development; in this role Toker contributed to the company’s strategic direction – aligning capital formation, project development and organizational development in support of the company’s strategic intent. Toker was an executive with several energy technology companies including COO of Lowfoot, Inc, Vice President of Business Development at Oxane Materials, an Energy Ventures portfolio company backed by Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips and Vice President, Partnerships and Market Planning at GlycosBio, a DFJ Mercury, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and DFJ JAIC backed chemical Company.
Mr. Toker was Senior Vice President with Sindicatum Capital, a London-Singapore based energy developer and investment firm backed by Citigroup, Gulf One Bank, Black River (Cargill) and AIG. Mr. Toker had a broad range of responsibilities working closely with project partners and hosts from origination, planning, financial and strategic analysis through structuring and financial close.
He was previously Head of Trade and Investment in Houston for UK Trade & Investment.
Mr. Toker holds a B.A. degree from Boston University and M.S. from Tufts University.
Thomas Suffield – Partner & EVP Business Development
Thomas Suffield is responsible for various development activities at Stone Bridge, including spearheading specific development teams for high value portfolio projects. His most recent focus has been leading the commercial development efforts of one of our Gulf Coast petrochemical projects. Mr. Suffield is pursuing a unique development project that couples private equity financing with a project finance structure for further refining chemical feedstocks into olefins. He continues to add commercial value to this unique project while advising the Stone Bridge team on additional projects within the petrochemical processing space.
Mr. Suffield is instrumental in coordinating commercial development efforts with partners, financing sources and off-take counter parties. He provides critical assistance to Stone Bridge in originating and advancing the progression of viable development projects towards financial close. Mr. Suffield is an accomplished energy finance executive with over 25 years of experience in developing, financing and acquiring significant energy businesses, infrastructure assets and related commodities. He has led development and acquisition teams for projects throughout the U.S. and world-wide.
Mr. Suffield has held strategic senior executive roles with entrepreneurial, public and private enterprises across the energy value chain, including McDermott International, Gavilon, El Paso, Enron and Falcon Seaboard. He has a proven track record of originating, acquiring and monetizing over $5 Billion in highly-structured energy transactions ranging from power to midstream to renewable by leading multi-dimensional matrix organizations. He continues to focus on long-dated offtake contracts with either a cross commodity feature or with a focus on energy tolling projects. Mr. Suffield earned a BBA in Finance with honors and MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tim Sullivan, Stone Bridge Partner and Executive Vice President, Projects & Business Development
Tim Sullivan is an energy professional with 30 years’ experience in commodities, marketing, trading, hedging, project finance, fixed income, power generation, renewable energy, natural gas production, natural gas pipelines, derivatives, financial modeling, structured finance, asset management, contract negotiation and acquisitions. Over the course his career, Mr. Sullivan has completed over $5 billion in project financings and natural gas monetizations, including two financings for which he earned recognition for “Deal of the Year.”
Previously, Mr. Sullivan was a co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer for Quantum Utility Generation LLC, where he led the commercial aspects of both conventional and renewable power generation assets in North America. Prior to that, Mr. Sullivan was a Managing Director with Deutsche Bank and co-led its North American Commodity Business. Mr. Sullivan also served as Managing Director at AIG-Financial Products. As Senior Vice President of El Paso Merchant Energy, he led power contract restructurings and earned his first Deal of the Year from Project Finance Magazine in 2001 for a Power Contract Restructuring valued at $320 million. Previously, he worked for Citizens Power, Enron and Niagara Mohawk.
Mr. Sullivan earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.
John M. Hopper, Stone Bridge Partner and Executive Vice President, Commercial Structuring
John Hopper has 39 years experience in the midstream and upstream energy industries as a company founder and entrepreneur, CEO, senior executive, general counsel and private practice attorney.
Mr. Hopper’s most recent business ventures include founder and Managing Director of EnerGnostics, LLC and Phoenix Energy International LLC. EnerGnostics is a global energy consultancy that provides critical insight across the value chain to the energy industry. Phoenix Energy is an underground natural gas storage and associated midstream and EOR project development company.
Additionally, Mr. Hopper was co-founder and Managing Director of Nexus Energy Logistics, LLC, a rail terminal project development company focused on the development of a multi-use railroad terminal to serve the crude oil and mined ore extraction industries.
Prior to that, Mr. Hopper was co-founder, President & CEO of Falcon Gas Storage Company, Inc., which he grew into the second largest natural gas storage company in the north Texas market area; and co-founder and Managing Director, Inventory Management & Distribution Company Inc. Earlier in his career, he was General Counsel; vice-president, business development; and vice-president, marketing & trading at TPC Corp. and Senior Associate at Houston-based law firm Butler & Binion.
Mr. Hopper holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas.
Ashok Gupta, Stone Bridge Partner & Executive Vice President, Finance
Ashok Gupta brings broad-based experience in development and acquisition/divestiture of energy infrastructure projects worldwide. His experience includes commercial banking, corporate finance, management consultancy and project management.
Mr. Gupta has extensive experience in structuring and arranging non-recourse project financing, and has raised funds for different levels including senior loans, subordinated loans and equity. He has successfully closed dozens of complex transactions, several with multi-sourced financing, for an aggregate amount of over $50 billion.
Prior to joining Stone Bridge, Mr. Gupta was Senior Vice President of Project & International Finance at Mizuho Corporate Bank. Earlier, he co-founded a project finance group for Fuji Bank in Houston. Mr. Gupta also held roles as Vice President of International Finance at El Paso Corporation and as Vice President of Finance at Enron International.
Mr. Gupta holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India, an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Science in Accounting from Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.