Former Enel CEO Francesco Starace has quickly found a new role in private equity and said he doesn’t expect the global green giant’s energy transition strategy to be reversed under its new management team.

Starace – who left Enel earlier in May after nine years in the top job there – will join private equity group EQT as a partner in its infrastructure advisory team, it was announced on Monday.

The partially state-owned Italian utility under Starace’s leadership became one of the world’s largest wind and solar operators but there has been speculation that the new top management installed with the support of the Italian government – CEO Flavio Cattaneo and chairman Paolo Scaroni – could alter or reverse key elements of his energy transition strategy.

“I don’t see that happening because investors want the transition and it’s the obvious direction [in which] to go for companies like [Enel],” Starace told the Financial Times in an interview. He also said he expects governments to “all converge” around the transition eventually.

Starace said of his new role at EQT: "The industrial transition pathway to net-zero is a gradual process that takes time and requires significant investment. This transition, if well managed, opens very large opportunities for value creation to those that understand its dynamics.”

EQT’s portfolio currently includes renewables platforms Cypress Creek and Solarpack, and EV charging specialist InstaVolt.

Lennart Blecher, head of the investor's real assets advisory team, said: "EQT sees significant potential in accelerating the momentum towards net-zero by driving decarbonisation of the power and utilities or transportation and logistics sectors. Having Francesco join us on this journey, with his decades-long experience within the energy sector, is invaluable to both EQT and our portfolio companies."

Under Starace, Enel ended 2022 with 59GW of renewable capacity in place – a total that unusually for such a massive green player includes no offshore wind, which the CEO told Recharge in an interview remained “a risky niche” compared to onshore wind and solar.