Ellen Lapson is an acknowledged financial expert with forty years of experience in the fields of utility credit analysis and infrastructure financing.
Prior to forming Lapson Advisory in December, 2011, Ellen was a Managing Director at Fitch Ratings, where she oversaw ratings criteria and directed fixed-income investor outreach for the Utilities Group. She led in developing Fitch’s sector research and credit policy for U.S. and international electric, gas and water utilities, energy marketers, project finance transactions, and structured finance products to monetize utility tariffs or contracts.
In her 17 years at Fitch, Ellen led the credit evaluations or chaired Fitch rating committees for hundreds of North American utilities and projects, from the largest to the smallest entities. She directed and participated in credit assessments of innovative energy technology projects including renewable energy sources, advanced coal plants, new nuclear power plants, and nuclear enrichment. Ellen also led in the development of Fitch’s policies on rating hybrid securities and utility tariff -backed bonds. Culminating her career at Fitch, in 2010-2011, Ellen chaired Fitch’s Corporate Finance Criteria Committee, the group responsible for determining the global criteria and guidelines the agency used to rate corporations, banks & financial institutions, insurers, and global infrastructure projects.
Prior to joining Fitch in 1994, Ellen was an officer of Chemical Securities Inc. and Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan), specializing in corporate finance and banking transactions for the electric and gas industries in the U.S., South America, and Europe. As a banker, she was a key member of the team that developed the first U.S. investor-owned utility tariff bonds for Puget Energy / Puget Sound Power & Light. Other transactions included arranging private placement debt financing, structuring special financing vehicles, and valuing power plants and energy assets.
Ellen began her career as an equity analyst at Argus Research Corp., where she covered the electric, gas, and telephone industries.
Ellen has served for eight years as a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Advisory Council and chaired the Advisory Council. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Wall Street Utility Group. She earned an MBA in accounting from New York University.