Congratulations to Neil O’Donnell, General Counsel of Aergo Capital on his recognition in the 2023 Airline Economics 40 Under 40 award!


02 October 2023 – Dublin, Ireland: Huge congratulations to our General Counsel, Neil O’Donnell on his recognition in the Airline Economics 40 under 40 awards. This award celebrates the outstanding young professionals of the aviation industry. This year’s award winners have been noted for their perseverance in the industry’s downturn in the last few years and their ability to capitalise on the new business opportunities arising from the global return to air travel.

Neil has over 13 years’ aviation sector legal experience, working as a solicitor for top tier Irish and London City law firms in addition to leading aircraft and engine lessors. Neil joined Aergo in 2018 as a VP Legal and has over time successfully built out a legal team which has been instrumental to our continued growth. Under his leadership, the Aergo legal department were also recognised as the Aviation Legal Team of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2022. He was promoted to the position of General Counsel and a member of the Aergo Executive Team in January 2023.

Fred Browne, Sean Hedderman, Stan Barnes and Karl Trowbridge have also been recognised as 2023’s Airline Economics Mentors. As part of the 40 under 40 award, the award recipients were given an opportunity to nominate individuals who have acted as mentors or have been an inspiration to them during their career in the aviation industry. This recognition highlights the profound impact of their mentorship in fostering talent and innovation within the aviation sector.

Fred Browne co-founded Aergo in 1999 and has been Chief Executive Officer since inception leading the company through several phases of growth in following 23 years. Fred has completed joint venture programs with GECAS, Castlelake, Varde and other aircraft investors. In 2023, Fred was awarded the highly coveted ‘CEO of the Year’ by Airline Economics.

Sean Hedderman is the Chief Technical Officer at Aergo Capital. He joined the Company in 2005, and during his time has successfully managed over 200 aircraft transitions and over 65 repossessions. He has also helped Aergo to successfully transition through the technological and economic cycles of recent times. Sean is instrumental to all transactions including aircraft acquisitions, transitions, repossessions, trading support, lease contract negotiations and the technical underwriting process.

Stan Barnes joined Aergo Capital as Chief Financial Officer in November 2016. Stan has sixteen years’ experience in the aircraft leasing business having started his aviation career with Standard Chartered Aviation Finance in December 2007, where he oversaw the growth of the business from 7 to over 110 aircraft with a book value of almost US$5 billion. As CFO at Aergo Capital, Stan has overseen the growth of the business from 27 aircraft with a book value of c$500m to 272 Owned and managed Aircraft with a book value of c$5.7 billion. As Head of HR at Aergo Capital Stan helped grow the team from 16 to 63 employees. Stan was also instrumental in introducing Aergo Capital’s industry leading systems and processes.

Karl Trowbridge started his aviation career as an RAF Engineer Officer and joined Aergo Capital in 2020 following over 25 years’ experience in Senior Commercial and C-Suite roles encompassing aircraft & engine leasing and end-of-life solutions. He was appointed Head of Asset Management at Aergo Capital in 2022. The Asset Management team provide lease management, remarketing, advisory and technical services for investor-owned aircraft. Karl and his team have led the growth of the asset management business to over 170 assets, catapulting Aergo to become one of the largest aircraft asset management businesses in the world.

We look forward to celebrating with Neil, Fred, Sean, Stan, Karl and all award winners and mentors at the awards dinner in London!