“My overarching purpose is to create a more sustainable future that is also profitable for investors. I plan to achieve this mission by applying a fully integrated business, legal, and sustainability strategy to global energy, agriculture, and water projects, leveraging the latest disruptive technology.”
Sustainably Driven: Lawyer, Investor, Entrepreneur
Dr. Walter Leo Schindler is a lawyer, investor, entrepreneur, strategic advisor and project developer internationally recognized as one of the US pioneers of sustainable impact investment. Walter has won more international awards for his sustainable investment vision and game-changing achievements than any other American.
On November 16, 2016, Walter was honored for his sustainability vision and achievements by HRH The Princess Royal at a special dinner in his honor at St. James Palace in London.
Walter recently accepted the invitation of Forbes Magazine to join the Forbes Business Council and has published three articles in Forbes. He was also recently selected for membership in Top Tier Impact, an international group of thought leaders in impact investing.
Through his company Transformation LLC, Walter provides strategic advice, capital services and project development services to large global clients regarding sustainable energy, water, agriculture, healthcare and other sustainable investment projects throughout the world, after many years as a venture capital investor in energy and water technology companies following a successful career as a corporate transactional lawyer in renewable energy and power, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and corporate finance.
Walter has served as a Partner of the international law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He started there as an associate in 1980 upon graduation from Harvard Law School and through his extraordinary success with clients became the last seven-year Partner in the history of the firm. His legal career at Gibson Dunn from 1980 until 1999 was focused on renewable energy and power, corporate board governance, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings. It has included advising clients on some of the most successful mergers and IPO’s in the US during that time, including Allergan, Callaway Golf, Fluor, RemedyTemp, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company (regarding the spinoff of PIMCO and sale to Allianz), PacifiCare (regarding its merger with FHP), SafeGuard Health, and Ultrasystems Inc., one of the early US pioneers of renewable power project development. He represented Robert Emmett McDonough in connection with the gift naming for the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Walter has been the lead strategic advisor in over 60 successful mergers and acquisitions and 11 Initial Public Offerings as well as the development of over 25 renewable power projects. He was also one of the Partners active in his law firm’s global expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Throughout his entire 40-year career Walter has worked with Bechtel and with various US federal agencies on national security matters.
In 1999 Walter was the founder of SAIL Capital Partners LLC, internationally recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in sustainable impact investment in the United States. He has been honored in several countries of Europe for his pioneering role in sustainability in the US. Under his leadership SAIL Capital Partners was selected by the World Economic Forum in 2013 as a member of its Community of Global Growth Companies and SAIL was nominated for Private Equity Manager of the Year by Foundation & Endowment Money Management.
In addition, SAIL Capital was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to co-lead with Deutsche Bank the first U.S. Trade Mission on Clean Energy to Germany in Munich in 2012 and to participate in the first Impact & Sustainable Investment Trade Missions to Europe, meeting with investors in Zurich, Amsterdam, and London in 2014.
In 2014 Walter was elected to the Board of Directors of Fulbright Canada, the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States ( https://fulbright.ca ). The Board oversees all Fulbright Scholarships and Scholars moving between Canada and the US. In addition, in 2016-2020, Walter and SAIL received numerous international awards, including Game Changer of the Year, Most Innovative Venture Capitalist, and Best Sustainable Investment Firm CEO.
In the last twelve months Transformation has increased its focus on breakthrough developments in artificial intelligence, blockchain, medical science and extended reality software, in addition to several new breakthroughs in energy technology.
Several of Transformation’s venture companies are focused on ways to reduce the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Walter is a native of New Orleans, an Eagle Scout, and during his high school years was the Southern Regional Champion in Debate, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation, as well as the Louisiana State Champion in Debate.
He attended Yale University on a full academic scholarship and earned his B.A. magna cum laude in 1973, his M.A. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1977, all with honors from Yale University. At Yale he was awarded the Mary Cady Tew Prize as first in his class in the Yale Graduate School. He attended Harvard Law School on scholarship and earned his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980, where his faculty advisor was Professor Archibald Cox.
In 1972 Yale University selected Walter to be a Bates Traveling Fellow in residence at Clare College, Cambridge University, during 1972 and in 197475 he studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Italy at the University of Florence. Walter is the author of a book of original poetry (The Napoleon House; published by Archon Books in 1991) and a book on the life and poetry of John Milton (Voice and Crisis: Invocation in Milton’s Poetry; published by Archon Books in 1990).
Today Dr. Schindler is the only US member of the Advisory Council of Awad Capital Ltd., a global investment bank based on Dubai. As well, he is the only US member of the Advisory Board of Europe-based ClimateTrade.com, the global blockchain based platform for efficient trading of carbon credits.
- World Economic Forum
- Board of Directors, Fulbright Canada Foundation
- A Leader of 3 US Trade Missions to Europe on Clean Energy & Sustainable Investment; co-lead with Deutsche Bank on first Mission
- Strategic Advisor in over 60 M&A and IPO transactions, including Ultrasystems, PIMCO, Callaway Golf and RemedyTemp
- Chief Executive Roundtable — UC Irvine
- More than 25 early renewable power and cogeneration projects
- Former Managing Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Orange County, CA
- Awad Capital Ltd. (Dubai), Advisory Council
- Founder of SAIL Capital Partners LLC
- Founder of Transformation, LLC
- Climatecoin, Advisory Board
- Global Water Institute, Advisory Board
- Trivver, Advisory Board