Mineral rights CFO departs after short stint

Evan Kiefer, CFO and Treasurer of Black Stone Minerals, has stepped down with immediate effect.  He has been replaced by Taylor DeWalch as CFO and Dawn Smajstrla as Treasurer.

BSM has its head office in downtown Houston and is one of the largest owners and managers of oil and gas mineral rights in the USA. It has a market capitalization of $3.3 billion. The production underlying the mineral rights is primarily gas and the company hedges the majority of its production. As a result, its share price is not very volatile (52 week range is $14.88 – $18.55).

What’s strange about the announcement is that Mr. Kiefer spent 8 months as interim CFO, but only 7 months as the permanent CFO! Mr. Kiefer joined BSM (technically, the General Partner of BSM) in 2013 as a Financial Analyst. He was appointed interim CFO in March 2023 after the departure of Jeff Wood. He was made permanent CFO in October 2023.

Mr. Kiefer will receive severance of

  • cash payment of $601, 775 (1x annual salary of $250,000 plus 1x target bonus of $250,000, plus pro-rated bonus for 2024)
  • accelerated vesting of 3,628 common units (worth approx $50,000)
  • accelerated vesting of 12,179 performance units ($200,000)
  • elimination of employment-based forfeiture restrictions on 50,893 performance units ($815,000)

Mr. DeWalch joined the company in February 2023 as Director, Strategy & Asset Development. He is a Petroleum Engineer by training and previously worked in engineering roles at Anadarko, Unitex Oil & Gas and Callon Petroleum. Mr. DeWalch is the son of Mark DeWalch, a non-exec director of the company, who has a background in finance and banking. DeWalch Jr. will receive a base salary of $310,000.

Ms. Smajstrla joined BSM in 2015 as the Chief Accounting Officer. She also worked at Anadarko, as well as Goodrich Petroleum and Lime Rock Resources.

SEC filing – 8-K Black Stone CFO severance

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