Therese Brouwer, ING Banker, Died in Ukraine Crash at 50

Therese Brouwer, a managing director who headed an energy-finance unit at ING Groep NV, the largest Dutch lender, died in last week’s downing of Malaysian Air Flight MH17. She was 50.

Her husband, Charles Smallenburg, son Werther and daughter Carlijn were also killed on July 17 in eastern Ukraine, according to Malaysian Air’s list of victims. Charles Smallenburg was 55, Werther Smallenburg was 12 and Carlijn Smallenburg was 15, according to Raymond de Graaff, a City Hall spokesman in the Dutch city of Hilversum.

The family was among 13 inhabitants from Hilversum who perished in the plane disaster. In an obituary in the newspaper NRC Handelsblad, Mayor Pieter Broertjes said, “It is terrible that they have been torn from our society in this way.”

The brick sidewalk to the family’s home is lined with bouquets of white roses, orange lilies and other brightly colored flowers, and white stones have been assembled in the shape of a heart on the front walk, according to Al Jazeera America.

“The community is in shock,” Julius Dresme, the pastor of St. Vitus Church in Hilversum, said today in a telephone interview. “People feel lost, but in grief connected.” Hundreds of people flock to the church daily to sign a condolence book, he said.

Energy Projects

Brouwer was head of structured finance for utilities, power and renewables for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the Amsterdam-based bank. She led the unit since 2011, according to her LinkedIn page.

Her team assists clients in financing thermal and renewable-energy power-regeneration assets. The group of 15 people was divided among Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan, according to a profile for a renewable-energy seminar in Lisbon in November 2013. The unit was part of ING’s commercial-banking division, which completed 10 deals in the renewable-energy sector in the first eight months of last year, according to an article in the Ciol CyberTimes Daily Newsletter.

“Our global energy portfolio within ING is roughly 3.5 billion euros,” split between conventional power and renewable energy, she said in a presentation at the Lisbon seminar. Her team’s work in renewable-energy projects had focused mainly on photovoltaic, or PV, solar, onshore wind and, more recently, offshore wind, she said.

Ocean Power

Harnessing the power of the ocean, a priority of the group hosting the conference, was still a work in progress, she said.

“Banks very much rely on proven technology,” Brouwer said, “so when we talk about wave energy, I don’t think yet we are really there to enter into the territory for commercial bank financing, but we believe that it will come.”

Brouwer’s unit was the co-mandated lead arranger of a lending facility for Bremen, Germany-based WPD AG’s 1.3 billion-euro ($1.75 billion) Butendiek wind farm in the North Sea. ING was also lead arranger for the Northwind Offshore Wind Farm, off the Belgian coast.

In 2012, Brouwer was head of the division when ING was lead arranger of a 126 million-euro financing facility for ERG Eolica Fossa del Lupo Srl’s 97.5 megawatt wind farm in Calabria, Italy, according to an ING fact sheet.

Born in Hilversum, Brouwer had a bachelor’s degree in marketing from a business school in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

She worked in human resources at the Brussels-based pharmaceutical company Solvay SA before joining ING in July 1992 as a junior account manager in the media team. Two years later, she headed a telecommunications lending group. From 2007 to 2011, she was a global senior credit officer for ING structured finance relating to infrastructure and energy, the profile said.

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