Our Team

MANAGEMENT TEAM

We’re a highly experienced and skilled team of professional with decades of collective experience and contacts. Our retention rates are proof of the respectful, long-term relationships we establish with our clients, always with the goal of developing and implementing reliable, efficient and sustainable energy strategies.

Grant Berndsen
Chief Executive Officer
Grant Berndsen
Chief Executive Officer

Grant holds civil engineering and MBA degrees. He has over 20 years’ experience in the development, construction and financing of energy and infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Grant has extensive experience in utility scale energy markets (in particular, South Africa’s REIPPP programme) as well as commercial and industrial energy markets specialising in captive energy solutions to private customers.

Matt Turner
Chief Commercial Officer
Matt Turner
Chief Commercial Officer

Matt holds a mechanical engineering degree and has 12 years of strategic and commercial experience in the energy sector. He has extensive experience in developing and scaling ESCO services, C&I solar PV assets and advanced solar plus storage microgrid solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

Emma Cole
Chief Financial Officer
Emma Cole
Chief Financial Officer

Emma is a chartered accountant and joins Terra Firma Solutions as Chief Financial Officer charged with the responsibilities of managing the finance, IT and procurement functions. Previously Emma held the position of Finance Director, Africa for Seriti Green (previously Windlab Africa). At Seriti Green Emma managed the full finance and IT function for both South and East Africa and was instrumental in ensuring compliance across all regions. Emma was also responsible for raising over R100m in debt for the flagship project of Seriti Green. Prior to this Emma was based at Engie Southern Africa’s head office and had a joint role of finance manager for the development company and CEO for two solar assets held by Engie in the Western Cape.
Emma started her career at Deloitte in Johannesburg where she won awards for Innovation and Brand Eminence for various initiatives she implemented. Since then, Emma has worked both in South Africa and England in various roles across different industries including mining, public relations and media before joining renewable energy six years ago.

Shaun Austin
Chief Legal Officer
Shaun Austin
Chief Legal Officer

As an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, Shaun started his career within the legal profession, progressing to a commercial in-house role where he found a passion for the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Terra Firma Solutions, Shaun spent 4 years in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP), gaining experience in contract and commercial law with some of the leading international developers of solar PV and concentrated solar projects. Shaun holds a B Com (Law) and LLB degree from the University of the Free State.

Nesheen Jugdeo
Chief Human Resources Officer
Nesheen Jugdeo
Chief Human Resources Officer

Nesheen is a seasoned Human Resources executive with a Masters Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of KZN. She has over 17 years of experience in overall HR strategy, talent acquisition, leadership development, transformation, compensation and industrial relations. She has redesigned, created and grew HR divisions across various retail and financial services companies in South Africa and across the African continent. She previously fulfilled the role of HR director and developed and implemented HR strategy at executive committee and board level. She remains passionate about employee wellbeing and building a strong corporate culture that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.

Ian Nelson
Engineering Executive
Ian Nelson
Engineering Executive

Ian is a Civil Engineer by qualification, and comes from a background in large projects, where he gained experience leading large multidisciplinary teams in challenging mining and processing plant facility execution.

Ian now has nearly a decade of applied experience in renewable project execution and since joining Terra Firma Solutions, has been instrumental in the delivery of over 370 commissioned PV projects in 5 countries, while building a sustainable and scalable engineering system for the company.

Ben Snyman
Chief Business Development Officer
Ben Snyman
Chief Business Development Officer

Ben’s career has developed from the Corporate Medical Industry to the emerging Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy market where he assists large corporations by strategically addressing their energy challenges. Ben has gained extensive experience in Business Development while employed by international corporate firms based in the USA, EU and Australia over the last 15 years. He is passionate about securing a brighter and cleaner future for South African Companies by concentrating on a win/win model for the customer and the environment.