Azurest Partners is an advisory services firm focused on providing insightful and innovative strategic and financial expertise in those economic sectors that promote high impact business opportunities.
As the volume and diversity of information, trade and investments flow continues to rapidly increase between Africa, North America, Europe and Asia we are positioned to help key participants in these commercial and political exchanges develop insightful views on the respective markets, stronger partnerships, and more successful commercial ventures.
We leverage our commercial and governmental relationships in the United States and other key countries to create opportunities for African businesses and governments seeking commercial partners, markets for their goods and services and strategic investors.Our efforts focus on building bridges – commercial, political and financial – between these economic regions which will strengthen these communities, enrich these citizens and create brighter futures.
The Azurest Partners team brings over two hundred years of collective experience in Tier 1 investment banking, strategic advisory services and project finance.
Founder & Managing Director
Kenneth is the founder of Azurest Partners. He has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, business strategy and project management. His prior experience includes senior roles at Lehman Brothers as well as JP Morgan Chase’s Investment Bank.
At Lehman Brothers, Kenneth covered clients in the business services, telecoms / information services, financial technology and the Internet/technology sectors. Kenneth has been involved in equity and debt capital raising transactions as well as M&A assignments on behalf of his clients. He has transactional experience in Africa, the United States and the Caribbean.
He also served in the Corporate Strategy group at Lehman Brothers and has served as a CAO in the Mortgage Capital division of that company. At JP Morgan Chase, he was a Global Business Manager, overseeing planning and administration, compliance, management reporting and special projects for those various groups in the Investment Bank.
Kenneth received a degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has an MBA and a Masters in Education from Stanford University.
Ruthard Murphy is a seasoned investment professional with 16 years of experience financing large-scale energy & infrastructure projects in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.
Most recently, he was a Senior Director in the Private Finance Group at NY Life Investment Management. He has evaluated hundreds of financing opportunities and invested over $3.2 billion in 80+ private, public and project finance transactions. He had ongoing responsibility for a $3 billion portfolio, which included investments in power transmission and generation (renewables and fossil-fuel), oil & gas transmission and storage, and transportation infrastructure.
In addition, Ruthard led New York Life’s energy-related private equity investment program. He conducted the initial due diligence for NYL’s investments in six private equity funds.
Prior to NY Life, Ruthard was a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase where he advised, structured or executed over $8 billion of project finance transactions and syndicated loans.
Before JPM, Ruthard was a Senior Analyst for Exxon International where he did worked in the Downstream Planning, Supply & Transportation and Aviation Fuels Marketing groups.
Ruthard earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
Wil Inscho, a finance professional with more than 25 years of institutional capital markets experience has spent the last 10 years working with early stage and middle markets companies, bot private and public. During that time he has facilitated debt and equity financings for issuer clients in tech, media, telecom, biotech, med tech, energy, clean tech/alternative energy, natural resources, industrial, automotive, retail and other industries. Wil also works to facilitate various forms of Asset Based Lending.
Wil worked for a number years at top tier investment banks/ broker dealers providing research sales and trading for several prominent institutional accounts in the U.S. During the early to mid- 90’s he worked directly for institutions that would later become clients. Institutional trading was his main focus while working for two of the largest State Pension Funds in the U. S., Ohio P.E.RS. and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
Wil earned a BS in Finance from the University of Dayton.
Ernie has a long career in finance, having served in senior roles in public finance on Wall Street as well as serving on a number of industry associations. His prior experience was as a Managing Director in Public Finance at Lehman Brothers, where Ernie served as the lead banker for a number of critical client relationships including covering states, major cities and other governmental agencies in the United States. He was responsible for the structuring and execution of transactions in the bond and real estate markets for both the federal and local governments in the US. Prior to Wall Street, Ernie held a number of roles in the US Federal Government, including serving as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, Chairman of the African Development Foundation and Chairman of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board.
Ernie has a BA and an MA from Michigan State University.
Simon is a loan specialist and banker with 30 years of experience. He has special expertise and experience in establishing, marketing, managing and executing syndicated loan business throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Simon established a Syndication & Co-financing unit for the African Development Bank. He also advised the senior regional managers at SMBC on market strategy and successfully led a team of sixteen for five years.
Simon’s prior work experience also includes serving at leading financial services institutions including the EBRD, Credit Suisse, The Chase Manhattan Bank, Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd and Grindlay Brandts Ltd.
Simon holds a BA and MA in Engineering Sciences from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.