Our People

Mark Swindell

Rock Rail, Chief Executive Officer
Rock Infrastructure, Founding Partner

Mark founded Rock Rail in 2014, having established sister company Rock Infrastructure in 2011, following a highly successful career in law at Clifford Chance (10 years) and DLA Piper (18 years).

Mark has over 35 years of experience working in the City of London, New York and Europe. For the last 28 years, he has specialised in developing innovative funding, financing and procurement strategies for major infrastructure projects, working to ensure the alignment of public and private sector interests and to deliver substantially improved public sector value for money.

Since founding Rock Rail, Mark has led the business in securing £3 billion of institutional investment into new passenger rolling stock for UK rail franchises. He is a director for the companies established to finance and lease each of Rock Rail’s fleets to the rail franchises.

Under Rock Infrastructure, Mark was Commercial Director on the landmark Mersey Gateway Bridge Project and principal advisor on the transformation of CAE’s helicopter training facility PPP.

As a lawyer, Mark created and led DLA Piper’s Commercial and Projects Group and in 2007 became Global Head of DLA’s Infrastructure and Defence Sector.

Notable transactions

Rail

  • Rock Rail West Coast – Led the Rock Rail team in negotiations with First-Trenitalia and Hitachi for the financing of this 135-vehicle, >£350m transaction, for use on the West Coast Partnership franchise.
  • Rock Rail East Midlands – Led the Rock Rail team in negotiations with Abellio and Hitachi, for the financing of a new 165 vehicle fleet of intercity bi-mode trains. The transaction was closed within a remarkable 22 days of Rock being appointed preferred funder.
  • Rock Rail South Western – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with First MTR and Bombardier on this £1bn transaction to buy and finance 750 Aventra cars for use on the South Western franchise.
  • Rock Rail East Anglia – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with Abellio and Stadler on this £700m transaction to buy and finance almost 400 Flirt cars for use on the Greater Anglia franchise.
  • Rock Rail Moorgate – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with GTR and Siemens on this £300m transaction to buy and finance 150 Desiro City cars for use on the TSGN franchise.
  • Intercity Express Programme – Acted as lead advisor for Agility Trains (Hitachi, John Laing, Barclays Private Equity) for 3 years from early in the competitive bid phase to the appointment (and re-appointment in March 2011) of this consortium as preferred bidder on this innovative private finance train service provision procurement.
  • Acquisition and financing of rolling stock for the Southern Region in the UK – Worked with Veolia Transport to develop the first PPP structure to purchase £500 million of rolling stock from Bombardier on a privately financed basis.
  • British Railway Franchises – Advised HM Government and a range of private sector rail franchises on developing rail franchises and access agreements under the UK regulations, including structuring access to private finance to support infrastructure and rolling stock upgrade investments in 20 year franchises.

Transport

  • Mersey Gateway Bridge – Commercial Director of procurement team responsible for:

Negotiating funding terms with the Department of Transport and seeking clearance through the Treasury Approval Process

Devising an innovative procurement strategy that delivered the best value for money DBFO crossing as well as allowing the private sector to support the Mersey Gateway Crossings.

Taking the lead in all commercial, legal and financial negotiations with bidders to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

  • Olympic Delivery Authority – A lead advisor on procurement strategy for the construction of the aquatics centre, velodrome and transport infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
  • California Bay Area Rapid Transport System – Advised Balfour Beatty, Mitsui and Citigroup on the development of the Oakland Airport Connector PPP project, an automated people mover project, connecting the BART system to the Oakland Airport.
  • South Hants and Leeds Tram Schemes – Worked with the Local Authorities on developing the procurement strategy for these Tram schemes.
  • Birmingham City Council Road Maintenance and Street Lighting project – Acted as the senior advisor to Birmingham City Council on developing the strategic structure of this project.
  • M25 Orbital Motorway – Advised the funders supporting Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke on their bid for the right to widen and maintain the M25 London orbital motorway.
  • Berlin Embassy – Acted as lead advisor to HM Government on the Berlin Embassy which was the Foreign Office’s first PPP.

Defence

  • Ministry of Defence Simulator Training Facility at RAF Benson – developed the first privately financed major training facilities, namely, Medium Support Helicopter at RAF Benson for CAE, Serco and HSBC.
  • Ministry of Defence Simulator Training Facility at Faslane – developed the first marine (Astute Class Submarine) training at Faslane for CAE/Alenia Marconi and Babcock.
  • Ministry of Deference Construction Vehicle Support Project – acted as lead advisor for the successful consortium of Amey and Babcocks on developing a ‘just in time’ business model for the provision of construction type vehicles to the MOD.
  • MOD Military Flight Training Schools (MFTS) – advised KKR and Bombardier on bidding for this project.

Healthcare

  • Hereford Hospital – Advised Alfred McAlpine, Atkins and HSBC on one of the first UK general Healthcare Hospital PPP Projects.