2 February 2012

Ascent appoints TFG executive director as CEO as it focuses on Asia

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA, which makes lightweight copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules on flexible substrates, has appointed Victor Lee (executive director of its largest shareholder, TFG Radiant Group Ltd and its affiliates) as president & CEO.

Picture: Victor Lee.

Last August, TFG Radiant acquired about 20% of Ascent's shares. In December, it agreed to purchase a further 21% of the outstanding stock in a private transaction, through the acquisition of stock owned by Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS. Upon closing of that transaction, TFG Radiant will own about 41% of Ascent’s outstanding stock.

Lee, a current and continuing board member, will take on his new role voluntarily without any compensation. He will focus on ramping up production, establishing relationships with partners, and developing sales opportunities primarily in Asia.

“Victor, representing our largest shareholder, has tremendous relationships in Asia that will be valuable to Ascent,” says chairman Dr Amit Kumar. “As we evaluate the changing dynamics of the solar industry, we have been aware for some time that the greatest market opportunities are in Asia, and this change in leadership enables us to take advantage of these changing market dynamics,” he adds. “Victor and his team at TFG Radiant have substantial financial management backgrounds, have run multiple large organizations, and have very strong financial, government and business relationships in China and East Asia.” Lee is also fluent in English, Mandarin and multiple Chinese dialects.

Last August, as well as investing in Ascent, TFG reached a joint development agreement to establish CIGS PV module manufacturing facilities in East Asia. TFG committed $165m for the initial fabrication plant. Ascent also agreed to exclusively license its technology for fabrication and distribution of CIGS PV modules to TFG for East Asia (including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea and Singapore).

“We thank Ron Eller for his contribution to Ascent in his role as CEO,” says Kumar. “I have thoroughly enjoyed helping the development of Ascent, initially as a director and then as CEO,” comments Eller. “As the company continues to move to high-volume production, having Victor's capabilities and relationships in the CEO role will be valuable,” he adds.

“We continue to see tremendous market opportunities for Ascent’s products, and I look forward to personally helping develop those markets and close valuable sales opportunities,” says Lee. “We [TFG Radiant] are making commitments of time, capital and relationships to hasten that success. While many public and private solar panel manufacturers are having financial troubles, we want to send a very clear message to the marketplace that we believe in a bright future for Ascent,” he notes.

Lee is the managing director of Tertius Financial Group Pte Ltd, a boutique corporate advisory and private investment firm he founded in February 2009. He has more than 17 years of experience in corporate banking, real-estate finance and investment management, and corporate advisory services at leading worldwide financial institutions. Lee began his career at Citibank N.A. in 1993, handling small- and medium-sized corporate finance, and progressed to a VP position in the International Personal Banking Division. In 1999 he moved to Deutsche Bank AG as VP, and in 2004 was promoted to managing director and Singapore Market Head in the Private Wealth Management Division, where he was responsible for management of about $1bn of assets under management. From 2007 until 2009 he was with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, most recently as executive director and head of Singapore/Malaysia markets. Lee has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s in Wealth Management from the Singapore Management University.

See related items:

TFG increases stake in Ascent Solar from 20% to 41%

Ascent Solar appoints TFG Radiant designate to board

Tags: Ascent Solar CIGS

Visit: www.ascentsolar.com

Visit: www.sradiant.com

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