The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Robert Linck, chief investment officer, Shell Ventures

Robert Linck has been with Netherlands-headquartered oil and gas (O&G) supplier Royal Dutch Shell for 13 years since 2006 when he came onboard as M&A and financing manager, having joined its strategic investment subsidiary, Shell Ventures, in 2012 as a chief financial officer (CFO), before moving stateside to become chief investment officer in 2019.

Geert van de Wouw, vice-president of Shell Ventures, said in his nomination of Linck: “Robert has been my CFO for seven years and has recently moved to San Francisco to lead our efforts on the West Coast. In his new chief investment officer role, he also leads our portfolio management efforts.

“Robert has a deep background in venturing, both as an investor and as an entrepreneur. Robert has been invaluable in our efforts to build Shell Ventures’ brand and our role as an industry leader in energy venturing. He has built a phenomenal reputation in our industry and deserves to be recognised as such.”

Linck became involved with corporate venture capital (CVC) activities at Shell since 2010 when he managed Shell Technology Ventures Fund I, whose portfolio was spun out of Shell in 2007 and has its origins in 1996.

He said: “CVC is a rare place where one can get to invest, be part of corporate strategy, get the fun and action around deals, and work with the best entrepreneurs to build and operate new businesses.”

Considering CVC to be a team sport, Linck said the success comes from collaboration whether within the ventures team or the broader Shell organisation. He gave an example of an exit which happened in March 2019 – Shell acquired energy storage technology provider Sonnen “in a landmark transaction for the energy transition”.

Linck feels proudest of how he and his team reinvented and rebuilt Shell Ventures, adding: “Together with Geert, we built a new team and filled the void in the innovation space for O&G from 2013 onwards. We supported the development of the New Energies business in 2016…Today, we work with almost all Shell businesses, whose trust we have earned back while remaining independent within Shell.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.