BarkerGilmore Recruits General Counsel for Malta
May 11, 2022 – Boutique search firm BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams, has assisted in the recruitment of Alex Hernandez as general counsel of Malta Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based innovator of grid-scale, long-duration energy storage. The assignment was led by John Gilmore, co-founder and managing partner, and Stephen Bell, senior director. “Alex is a great addition to our management team,” said Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta. “Malta is rapidly advancing into commercialization. Alex’s proven ability to successfully finance energy projects is a great asset for our partners and will accelerate our growth as a company.”
“BarkerGilmore delivered on their promise and provided a strong pool of candidates,” said Albert Morales, CFO of Malta. “Alex has served as an international legal and business executive, working at the highest level of energy companies. He is highly regarded for his growth and development leadership and will be an invaluable resource to Malta’s next stage of growth.”
“Alex brings extensive legal experience to the role, as well as deep knowledge of global energy development and financing and corporate development,” Mr. Morales added. “His background aligns with the mission of Malta, which is to build the future of energy storage systems.”
Mr. Hernandez’s Fortune 300 experience includes work most recently as SVP with Macquarie Capital, where he was tasked with sourcing and executing energy investments in the Americas, and prior that, in several legal and commercial roles for Sempra Energy. In both positions, he was responsible for overseeing the identification, development, and financing of major energy infrastructure projects. Mr. Hernandez began his career at Latham & Watkins LLP and Mayer Brown LLP, where he focused his practice on energy project finance, leveraged finance, and mergers and acquisitions. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, the State of California, and Washington, D.C.
Malta has developed a pumped heat energy storage (PHES) system to provide long-duration, largescale, cost-effective, and safe energy storage. Malta’s system stores electricity as thermal energy and then re-generates the electricity on demand for up to 200 hours, meeting daily and weekly needs. The company was originally incubated at Google’s Moonshot Factory, X, and is backed by energy industry leaders Alfal Laval, Proman, Chevron Technology Ventures, as well as investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Piva Capital.
Legal Recruiting Professionals
BarkerGilmore is a boutique firm specializing in executive search and selection in law and compliance. With a network of advisors and recruiters spanning the U.S., BarkerGilmore consistently places talent at leading consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, industrial, and technology companies.
Inside the High Demand for General Counsel Leaders
The legal and compliance market is booming. The number of in-house lawyers and law firm partners with aspirations of becoming a general counsel is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, landing the position is a challenge. Every search has specific criteria established by the executive leadership team and board which must be met. Some of the criteria could include specific industry experience or business knowledge, a background in public company securities and governance, as well as expertise in regulatory, compliance, litigation, M&A, employment/labor law, intellectual property, government relations, leadership, career track record, law firm training, law school ranking, and the list goes on, according to Robert Barker, co-founder and managing partner of BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams.
“Keep in mind cultural fit and soft skills which cannot be found on the resume are equally important,” he said. “And diversity can play a major factor in the CEO and board’s final decision. Most are using the general counsel position as a means of adding diversity to the executive leadership team,” he added. The demand for excellence is understandable as the general counsel plays such a critical role. One wrong answer or move during the interview process can lead to immediate disqualification. “Even after an offer is made, any red flag demonstrating a lack of judgment or ethics discovered during the background investigation will lead to a retraction,” said Mr. Barker.
Mr. Gilmore has over 30 years of executive search experience. He has developed trusted relationships with general counsel and C-suite leaders across the country. With a profound institutional understanding of how in-house legal and compliance departments function most effectively, Mr. Gilmore has earned a reputation as one of the top executive search consultants for general counsel and chief compliance officer placements.
Mr. Bell specializes in recruitment of senior legal and compliance executives. His background in psychology gives him a thought-provoking view on what drives individuals, as well as how to form an effective and successful team. Mr. Bell focuses on highly regulated industries such as life sciences, healthcare, insurance, and financial services. He has placed the U.S. head of operational risk and SVP of risk for a Fortune 100 international banking corporation, the VP of compliance and audit with a national healthcare leader, and the chief compliance officer for an international healthcare services organization.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media