Alumni Michael Lynch

Course studied: BA Arts & Social Sciences (2000), MBA (2021)

Position at time of writing: Managing Director and Founder at Ventus International

Tell us a bit about yourself and your current role.

My name is Michael Lynch and I am Managing Director and Founder of Ventus, an international Executive Search and Recruitment business with HQ in Edinburgh.  We are 100% renewable energy and energy transition focused recruitment consultancy, working with clients across the onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, green hydrogen, battery storage, tidal and industrial de-carbonisation sectors.  Our business is backed by a Scottish recruitment focused investment group, CLAN Partners, and we have ambitious expansion plans including the pending launch of our USA office in Boston, Massachusetts in 2022.

Our team of multi-lingual consultants are engaged on assignments across the globe, working with companies who develop, design, finance, construct and operate clean energy assets.   Our core service offerings are C Level / Executive Search, Permanent and Contract recruitment solutions.   Our business works with some of the world’s leading Energy Super Majors and plays a key role on the front line of the Energy Transition.  In addition, my final MBA project focused on the transformation strategies adopted by Energy companies in response to the global Energy Transition.

Our stated mission is to enable the energy transition by helping our clients to meet the world’s energy and climate challenges by sourcing, connecting and developing top talent globally.

We’re almost a year on from COP26 – what, in your opinion, is (or will be) the legacy of the conference?

The key take aways from COP 26 for me are;

  • We must accelerate the reduction of carbon and the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, providing support for a just transition. More can still be done in terms of unequivocal move away from Coal.
  • Developed countries must work to urgently and transparently meet the $100 billion climate finance target, as well as to revise this target upwards before 2025. Multilateral banks and developed countries are urged to align their financing with the Paris Agreement with ESG lending criteria central to future funding.
  • The developed world needs to take the lesser developed world with it on the journey to a cleaner energy future!

Why did you choose Strathclyde?

As an undergraduate student of Strathclyde many moons ago, I had an emotional attachment to the university going back to my early days as a student living and studying in Glasgow. When the time came for me to undertake an MBA in 2017, I looked into the various options and Strathclyde Business School stood out due to its triple accreditation, alongside the enviable reputation of the Strathclyde Business School which is an internationally recognised institution. In addition, I have a close affinity with the city of Glasgow and this combination of factors led to the decision to enrol on the flexible learning MBA on a part-time basis over weekends. I wanted an MBA experience which combined face to face interaction and networking whilst being flexible and sensitive to the needs of my job. I felt that the Strathclyde MBA ticked those boxes.

Do you have a highlight from your time at university?

The highlight of my time at the university was the interactive nature of the teaching methodology within Strathclyde Business School and the chance to work alongside so many ambitious and talented people from a wide variety of different cultural backgrounds. The course enabled me to develop as a person overall and helped me to develop a more rounded understanding of financial management and concepts. The course was a good mix of theory and practical application and placed lots of emphasis on working effectively as part of a high performance, multi-cultural team, something that is extremely important in a forward thinking and culturally diverse business environment.

What career achievement are you most proud of?

The achievement I am most proud of is setting up Ventus, an international Executive Search and Recruitment business which specialises in renewable energy and energy transition in the midst of a global pandemic. The opportunity to put into practice everything learned on the MBA was something I simply couldn’t ignore. I also took a difficult decision to walk away from the security of a senior leadership position with a strong base salary and benefits package to pursue my ambition of establishing a new brand dedicated to renewables and energy transition which is a topic I am extremely passionate about. We have grown from a start-up team of two to nine people in 15 months.

What changes (if any) have you made to live more sustainably?

We are in the process of adopting an EV company car scheme for our employees as we seek to make our own small contribution to emissions reduction.  We also have a sustainability policy underpinning everything we do.