senior management team
Our senior management team has a wealth of industry experience and capabilities.
Together it is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy which delivers a market-leading service for our customers and meets shareholder expectations and future ambitions.
The strength of the senior leadership team is regularly reviewed to ensure we have the right mix of skills to meet our objectives.
The SmartestEnergy senior management team consists of:
Robert Groves: Chief Executive Officer
Robert is responsible for the management of SmartestEnergy’s 3GW of aggregated generation capacity from distribution-connected generators, as well as the supply of electricity to large business consumers.
Robert began his energy career with Enron in 1997 and held senior commercial positions at EDF Trading and BHP Billiton, before joining SmartestEnergy in 2004 as Vice President Commercial. He became Chief Operating Officer in 2006 and was then appointed Chief Executive in 2011.
A former submarine engineer in the Royal Navy and Chartered Engineer, Robert has an MBA from London Business School, a BEng(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and a Diploma in Nuclear Technology and Engineering.
Masayuki Omoto: Chief Operating Officer
Masayuki Omoto joined SmartestEnergy as Chief Operating Officer in 2014. In this role he has responsibility across functions including sales & marketing, trading, risk management, customer services, finance and HR.
A Harvard Business School MBA graduate, Mr Omoto has worked in various areas of the energy sector including generation, transmission & distribution, vertically-integrated regulated utilities and the LNG sector. He has worked for Marubeni Corporation since 1992, and also spent time as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
James Clarke: Vice President, Trading
James joined SmartestEnergy’s Commercial team in 2003 and in 2008 became Vice President of Trading. In this role he is currently responsible for wholesale market trading and hedging (power, gas, and renewables), route to market customer service, volume risk management, industry costs pricing and the Energy Management Centre.
Prior to joining SmartestEnergy James was with TXU Europe where he held a number of analytical and project roles, across the company's UK risk management and trading activities. James is an Economics graduate (University of Surrey), with a Master’s degree in Political Economy (University of Essex).
David Taylor: Vice President, Sales & Marketing
David is responsible for all aspects of SmartestEnergy’s Sales and Marketing activity. He was appointed to his current role in 2013 after serving as Head of Sales for both the power purchase and retail sales teams.
David joined SmartestEnergy in April 2006 as a Business Development Manager for the Power Purchase business. He previously worked for British Energy for over 10 years in roles including Industrial & Commercial Sales, Structured Power Trader and Generation Consolidation Account Manager. David graduated from Durham University with a BA (Hons) in Economics.
Naoki Ito: Vice President, Risk Management
Mr Ito joined SmartestEnergy as Vice President of Risk Management from Marubeni in 2012.
He graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1993 and has worked in the Domestic Power Project Department of Marubeni for 10 years, engaging in Retail and Consolidation business in Japan.
Andy Cormie: Vice President, Customer Service & Operations
Andy joined the company as Head of New Product Delivery in 2012 before taking up his current role in 2013. He is responsible for business change, supplier management, IT and trade control as well as SmartestEnergy’s industry leading customer service and billing.
Before SmartestEnergy he was a Senior Manager at Ofgem on Distribution Network Policy and Assistant Director at DECC on Distributed Energy & Heat, having been involved in delivery of a range of energy policies, strategies and legislation across Government. He is a graduate in Marine Geography from the University of Wales Cardiff.
Hirokyuki Sawada: Chairman and Non-Executive Director
Hiroyuki Sawada has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector and has held a number of high-level positions in the wider Marubeni Corporation.
He is currently General Manager of Marubeni’s European Power Division after serving as Chief Operating Officer at SmartestEnergy for over three years until March 2014.
In his role as Chairman and Non-Executive Director of SmartestEnergy, he is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Company through the Directors and the Board.
Naoya Iwashita: Non-Executive Director
Mr Iwashita is a Managing Executive Officer and Regional CEO of Marubeni Corporation and Managing Director and CEO of Marubeni Europe plc. He has spent most of his business career in the international chemical and agricultural segment, and has been stationed over the years in both the US and Europe.
In his role of non-executive director, Mr Iwashita seeks to oversee strategic and synergetic opportunities between SmartestEnergy and the rest of the Marubeni Group’s businesses in Europe, Africa and CIS.
Ryuichi Noyama: Non-Executive Director
Mr Noyama was previously Vice President Risk Management at SmartestEnergy before returning to Marubeni in 2012.
After graduating in economics from Kyoto University in 1994 and working with Marubeni for 12 years, Mr Noyama joined SmartestEnergy in 2007 and moved to the company’s Ipswich office to help set up the Retail business.