Energy PE Recruiting

Can anyone give some insight on Energy PE Associate recruiting and the tops funds that operate in the energy space? Not specifically oil and gas, but any general insight is appreciated. Also curious to how the pay differs from corporate PE and if there's any differences in recruiting for energy PE at mega funds vs traditional PE.


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Comments (19)

Jan 16, 2019

throwawayaccount1098248, bummer your thread hasn't had a response yet. Sometimes bots are smarter than humans anyways:

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Hope that helps.

Jan 21, 2019

They recruit through HHs the same way any other PE fund does. First Reserve and Blackstone Energy Partners are two marquee names that come to mind, although the space as a whole has had a rough go as of late, especially funds with a vintage just prior to the 2014 oil bust.

Jan 23, 2019

Don't know anyone that considers First Reserve a marquee name in energy PE anymore.

Used to be a top name, lost a lot of luster when a noticeable amount of their portcos went bankrupt. Sounded like more went bankrupt than stayed alive.
Article here shows a longer trend of lackluster returns.

Jan 21, 2019

Definitely agree, I recall First Reserve being one of the hardest hit energy funds. Lot of their partners ended up losing their carry. But, as far as energy-only goes I think they're still one of the larger funds if I remember correctly.

Jan 25, 2019

KKR gives First Reserve a run for the money, but FR still is king at lighting LP money on fire. Their biggest disaster was actually a helicopter business supporting off-shore drilling vs. KKR who only made an abhorrent call on natural gas prices.

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Jan 23, 2019

Is your poor nat gas call referring to Samson or a different portco explosion?

Jan 25, 2019

Samson....but everyone got too long gas at that point, at least in the wrong basin's. Also, I challenge anyone to show me a take private (yes I know Samson wasn't public) of an E&P where you saddle it to the gills with term loans that has worked out well.

Feb 20, 2019

Could argue FR made a bad call on nat gas with their investments in Arsenal (fka Mountaineer Keystone) and Ascent

Jan 22, 2019

Energy PE typically falls under infra PE. This may help you find information about recruiting. Megafunds have teams for infra PE and some MM funds are growing pretty fast. The biggest Canadian pension funds also run infra groups with $10-20 billion AUM. If you want a complete list, simply google "biggest infrastructure funds" and you'll likely hit a top 50 or 100 list and some of these may be hiring atm.

As mentioned by the other poster, HHs typically run the show, but I've seen groups advertise on their own websites. Pay is typically in line with traditional PE from my experience.

    • 2
Jan 24, 2019

I dont think thats right. Midstream yeah, but I cant see infra funds buying shale assets or oilfield services companies..?

Jan 22, 2019

I was mainly speaking related to non-O&G investments.

Most Helpful
Jan 23, 2019

In my experience, about half of the "pure" Energy funds (primarily based in Texas) do NOT use a headhunter, and actually rely much more heavily on references (through existing Investment Professionals' connections or via surveying their colleagues at the various top tier energy IBs for a short list of analyst candidates that they might recommend). I won't delve as much into the MF Energy space, except by saying that the only teams that seem like they will be active and/or looking to grow and deploy substantial capital over the next few years are Apollo, Warburg and BX (unsure about Carlyle). Warburg and Blackstone are actively fundraising new energy funds. KKR (Real Assets)/TPG have had some struggles and I'm not aware of any plans to raise new money as of late. Bain doesn't really do Energy.

In terms of large-cap funds: EnCap, NGP, Quantum, Riverstone, ECP (last two have P&U in addition to Energy) are all doing well at the moment, at least from the standpoint of a prospective Associate who's looking to enter the space and potentially stay with the firm from a short-medium term. Quantum and EnCap have both recently raised massive funds and NGP is also in the process of raising a new fund. ArcLight, EIG and BlackRock are more infrastructure-focused but also worth considering. As the poster above mentioned, First Reserve has really struggled as of late. I don't think it's a deal breaker but it is something to keep in mind.

There are some solid names across the $500 MM to ~$2 Bn fund space that are expanding/deploying capital and could have more clear cut opportunities for longer-term seats: The various NGP-spin offs (Edge, Pearl, Carnelian), Post Oak, Juniper Capital (very active lately, backing new companies), Waterous' fund (some ex-KKR guys have left to head over there), Kayne Anderson, Lime Rock, Old Ironsides, Tailwater (mainly midstream), EIV (also midstream). I've heard secondhand that Denham has had some issues (culture, sub-par realizations). I'm pretty sure TPH Partners has not been very active.

  • a slate of other firms that have dedicated energy teams but are not exclusively focused on the space: Trilantic, Ares, Ridgemont, Pine Brook, Castlelake (I think they're winding down their energy focus though), MS Capital Partners... I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others.

Pay will generally be very competitive across the spectrum, and likely in line with other "industry-focused" funds, such as in the TMT or Consumer space. Obviously, I don't know the specifics for each fund but I'm going off of what I've heard from colleagues and gathered when going through recruiting.

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Jan 24, 2019

Some OFS focused funds in that $500-2B group too, e.g. SCF & CSL

Jan 24, 2019

First Reserve / Tailwater used Dynamics, MSEP used SG Partners, ECP / Pine Brook used CPI for their Energy fund (Oxbridge for FIG). Don't believe NGP used a headhunter this cycle though

Mega funds are covered throughout with CPI having the most but know SG had some BX opportunities

Jan 30, 2019

Any thoughts on ECP? Especially interested in any info on their credit platform.

Jan 31, 2019

NGP, Encap, basically all these "line-of-equity" funds are having lots of issues with their existing portfolio companies. Most of them are zombies. I see these management teams come to us looking for new capital to recapitalizes the companies all the time because NGP/Encap won't fund more dollars into them and need to exit them.

The public market is shut for E&P IPOs and the public companies aren't doing cash acquisitions either. So these funds are pretty much stuck.

Jan 24, 2019

Thank you for the comments! @r2d2_ ,@CorneliusLux ,@high hopes, @DalaiLama ! Would you guys mind commenting on O&G/energy distressed investing space please? Would appreciate learning about whether it's a large opportunity set, whether and how an analyst can add value (what's the analyzable component in these situations, esp. how do they differ from non-energy distress), as well as players and recruiting preferences, thanks!

Jan 25, 2019

The distressed players will mainly be the debt focused funds: EIG, Oaktree, Chambers Energy, Apollo (although they do a lot of traditional O&G PE), Aries, Stellus, to name a few. Oil & Gas companies are going bust all the time and there's plenty of opportunistic investors waiting around the hoop to scope up their assets for cheap.

Jan 28, 2019