Tag Archives: CFO

Huntsman looks internally for its new CFO

Huntsman Corporation, based in The Woodlands, has appointed Phil Lister as its new CFO. He replaces Sean Douglas, who resigned in April to take a senior leadership position with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



Mr. Lister is currently the VP of Corporate Development, a role he has been in since May 2019. He has spent his entire career with the company or its predecessors. He started out his career with ICI in the UK, shortly before it was acquired by Huntsman in 1999.

No compensation was disclosed for Mr. Lister, other than he will receive an initial equity award of $610,000 that will vest over three years. By comparison, Mr. Douglas had a base salary of $650,000.

SEC filing – Huntsman appoints new CFO

Callon Petroleum appoints new CFO

Callon Petroleum has appointed Kevin Haggard as its new CFO. He replaces Jim Ulm, who announced in March that would be retiring. Mr. Ulm will continue in an advisory role to assist with the CFO transition.



The company is an E&P company focused on the Permian and Eagle Ford Basins and it has its head office in the Westchase area of Houston. The company currently has a market capitalization of $1.9 billion. However, it has debt of $3 billion, so its stock price is very sensitive to the price of oil.

Between 2016 and October 2020, Mr. Haggard was the VP and Treasurer of Noble Energy. At that point, Noble was acquired by Chevron. Prior to Noble, he held senior financial roles at other E&P companies. He started his career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse.

Mr. Haggard will receive a base salary of $450,000.

As an aside, Correne Loeffler, who was VP, Finance and Treasurer at Callon between April 2017 and July 2019, was recently appointed the CFO at The Howard Hughes Corporation.

SEC filing – Callon Haggard CFO appointment

CFO of Main Street Capital to depart

Brent Smith, the CFO of Main Street Capital, is leaving the company, effective August 31, 2021. He will be replaced by Jesse Morris, who will also retain his duties of Chief Operating Officer.

Main Street is a publicly-traded private equity company with a market capitalization of $2.8 billion. It has its head office in the Galleria area.



Rather bizarrely, the announcement was made through a SEC filing by MSC Income Fund, which is a closed-end investment company, advised by Main Street. The company itself has not yet issued a press release nor filed an 8-K with the SEC, even though they announced their Q1 results last Thursday.

Mr. Smith has been CFO and Treasurer since November 2014. He was previously the CFO of Cal Dive International. Cal Dive was a publicly-traded oilfield services company that filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Its assets were sold off to multiple buyers and the company was subsequently liquidated through a Chapter 7 filing.

Terms of Mr. Smith’s departure were not disclosed in the MSC filing, though it did refer to a retention agreement. Mr. Smith had a base salary of $361,250. According to the recent proxy filing, in the event of a termination of employment, any unvested shares would vest ($1.3 million at the end of 2020) but Mr. Smith would not receive any other payments.

I will update this post once more details are known

SEC filing – MSC Income Fund

NRG moves corporate office to Houston as it names new CFO

NRG Energy has announced that Houston will serve as the company’s sole corporate headquarters. Previously, the company had dual headquarters in Houston (Operations) and Princeton, New Jersey (Corporate).



 

NRG is an integrated power company that has most of its retail customers in Texas. The dual headquarters arose after NRG bought the retail electricity business of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2009. It currently has a market capitalization of $8.6 billion.

In January of this year, NRG bought Houston-based Direct Energy from Centrica for $3.6 billion in cash. The company forecast it would achieve $300 million in synergies by 2023 and the corporate office rationalization is part of that plan.

New CFO appointed

NRG also appointed Alberto Fornaro as its new CFO. He replaces Kirkland Andrews who resigned in February to become CFO at Evergy, based in Kansas City.

Mr. Fornaro has a diverse and interesting background. An Italian citizen, he joined Coupang, a Korean e-commerce company in February 2020. However, by December, he had exited that role for reasons unknown. Coupang went on to complete its IPO in March 2021 with a $60 billion valuation (the largest in the US so far this year).

Prior to Coupang, he was CFO for nine years at International Gaming Technology and the CFO of Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, which is based in Korea. His early career was spent at Fiat and CNH Global, an agricultural equipment business whose majority shareholder is Fiat.

Mr. Fornaro will receive a base salary of $725,000 and a $1 million sign-on bonus (half now, half in June 2022).

Impact of Texas winter storm

NRG also disclosed that the financial impact of Winter Storm URI was $967 million. The main components of this were;

  • $393 million from a bilateral hedge in the Direct Energy hedge book with a counterparty that did not perform.
  • $95 million due to ERCOT default allocations
  • $395 million due to ERCOT’s management of the grid (remember later that week, ERCOT kept the market clearing price at the cap, even though there was 10 gigawatts in reserve)
  • customer bad debts of $109 million

In case you were wondering who the winners were from the winter storm, Dallas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer announced a $2.4 billion gain from the event, whilst Kinder Morgan booked a $1 billion gain.

SEC filing – NRG CFO

CFO promoted to COO at Galveston insurance company

Tim Walsh, CFO and Treasurer of American National Group (ANAT), has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Brody Merrill, who joined the company in November 2020 as Deputy CFO has been promoted to the CFO position.



ANAT is an insurance company that was formed in 1905 in Galveston by William Lewis Moody Jr. and still has its headquarters there. It has a market capitalization of $3 billion. 70% of the stock is owned by the Moody Family or The Moody Foundation.

Mr. Walsh joined the company in 1995 and has been the CFO since 2017. Prior to that, he had been in charge of various divisions within ANAT. In fact, when he became CFO, he also kept his positions as Executive VP of Property and Casualty operations and multiple line agencies. In connection with his promotion, Mr. Walsh’s salary will increase from $575,000 to $650,000.

Prior to joining ANAT, Mr. Merrill spent 8 years at USAA in San Antonio. His last position was VP of Corporate Finance. Mr. Merrill’s salary will increase by $10,000 to $350,000.

SEC filing – American National Group CFO

 

Woodlands real estate company appoints new CFO

The Howard Hughes Corporation has appointed Correne Loeffler as its new CFO. She replaces David O’Reilly, who was promoted to CEO in December 2020. Ms. Loeffler was previously the CFO at Whiting Petroleum, based in Denver.



Howard Hughes is now based in The Woodlands, following its move from Dallas late last year. It is primarily a developer of residential master planned communities and has market capitalization of $5.4 billion.

Ms. Loeffler will receive a base salary of $500,000 and be eligible for annual cash bonuses of $900,000 and annual long-term equity awards worth up to $1.2 million, 50% of which will vest based on performance.

Ms. Loeffler was CFO at Whiting from August 2019 to September 2020. She left as Whiting exited from bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, the bondholders exchanged $3 billion of debt for 97% of the equity in the newly-reorganized company.

Ms. Loeffler was paid handsomely for her 13 months at the company

  • Base salary of $440,000
  • Signing bonus of $190,000 in 2019
  • Cash bonus of $2.2 million paid the day before Whiting filed for bankruptcy.
  • Severance payment of $880,000
  • Transition consulting services of $68,250

Whiting also paid $158,000 in relocation costs to relocate Ms. Loeffler from Houston to Denver.

Ms. Loeffler was VP, Finance and Treasurer at Houston-based Callon Petroleum from April 2017 to July 2019. Prior to that, she spent 11 years at J.P. Morgan Securities.

Howard Hughes Corp – CFO appointment

Huntsman CFO resigns to take senior position with LDS Church

Sean Douglas, the CFO of Huntsman Corporation, has announced he is resigning to take a senior leadership position with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His last day will be July 1, 2021.

Huntsman, a chemicals company with revenues of $6 billion, is based in The Woodlands. However, it was founded in 1970 in Utah by Jon Huntsman, Sr. The Huntsman family is Mormon and just last month, it was announced that James Huntsman, his son (but not an employee of the company), was suing the church, accusing it of spending members’ tithes meant for charity on commercial purposes.

Mr. Douglas has been the CFO since January 2017. He joined the company in 1990, though he left the company between 2012-2015 to perform charitable services for the Church.

The company has initiated a search for a new CFO and is evaluating both internal and external candidates. The company expects to appoint a new CFO before July.

SEC filing – Huntsman CFO resigns

 

E&P company appoints new CFO as it relocates to The Woodlands

Ring Energy has appointed Travis Thomas as its new CFO as it relocates its head office from Midland to The Woodlands. Former CFO Randy Broaddrick, who had been CFO since 2012, elected not to relocate from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the accounting office was based.



Ring is an E&P operator with properties in the Permian Basin. It has revenues of $108 million and a market capitalization of $245 million. In February 2019 it acquired assets in the Permian Basin for $300 million from Wishbone Energy Partners. $28 million of the consideration came through issuance of new equity at $6.20 per share, the rest came from a revolving line of credit.

Prior to the acquisition from Wishbone, the company had been conservatively run with little long-term debt. In February 2018, one year prior, it issued new stock at $14 per share. High debt and a declining share price is not good for management and shareholders and both Lloyd Rochford (Chairman and co-founder) and Kelly Hoffman (CEO) stepped down in September 2020.

New CEO and dissident shareholders

Paul McKinney was appointed CEO. He spent 23 years at Anadarko (hence The Woodlands connection) and 6 years at Apache. More recently he was CEO at Yuma Energy from April 2017 to January 2019 and at Sandridge Energy for 11 months in 2019.

Those short stints raised the ire of Dr. Simon Kukes, a 11% shareholder , who stated that Mr. McKinney was too connected to the old Board and was overpaid ($480,00 base salary). Dr. Kukes is the CEO of Pedevco, another E&P company headquartered in Houston, with properties in the Permian Basin.

CFO compensation

Mr. Thomas joined the company in October 2020 as its VP of Finance. Prior to that, he was the Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer at Paradox Resources, a private E&P company with its head office in downtown Houston. Mr. Thomas will receive a base salary of $290,000. His predecessor had a base salary of $195,000.

I’ve added Ring Energy to the list of Houston-area public companies. You can see the complete list here.

SEC filing – Ring Energy CFO appointment

CEO and CFO of Superior Energy leave with large severances

The CEO and CFO of Superior Energy Services have left the company with large severances just six weeks after the company exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy.



Superior, based in downtown Houston, announced back in September 2020 that it intended to file for a pre-packaged bankruptcy. It did not actually file until December. The company converted $1.3 billion of debt into equity as part of the restructuring.  At the time of filing, the company had negative shareholders’ equity of $250 million. The stock of the company had previously been delisted because the negative equity breached NYSE listing standards.

Overpriced Acquisition

The company’s debt problem stems all the way back to October 2011 when it agreed to buy Complete Production Services for $2.9 billion. It paid $553 million in cash and issued stock for the rest. As part of the deal financing, in December 2011, it issued $800 million of unsecured senior notes, due 2021, to repay $650 million of debt that Complete owed. The other $500 million of notes were also, effectively, issued in 2011, though they were refinanced in 2017.

Severance

David Dunlap had been CEO since 2010. He leaves with a payment of $3.7 million. This represents two times base salary plus target annual bonus plus pro-rated target annual bonus for 2021.

Westy Ballard, who was appointed the CFO in March 2018, receives $1.7 million on the same terms as Mr. Dunlap.

Cash retention bonuses

Prior to the filing in September 2020, the old Board paid cash retention bonuses (as advances) to Mr. Dunlap ($3.1 million) and Mr. Ballard ($1.1 million).  Today’s filing does not make clear whether the severance payments are in addition to the retention bonuses or instead of them. Unfortunately, the company didn’t file the waiver and release agreements that would have cleared this up.

Michael McGovern, the newly-appointed Chairman of the Board, was appointed the interim CEO, while the company conducts a search. James Spexarth, the Chief Accounting Officer, becomes interim CFO.

SEC filing – Superior Energy CEO CFO exit

 

 

CFO at Vaalco Energy to retire

Elizabeth Prochnow has decided to retire from her role as CFO of Vaalco Energy, effective March 31, 2021. She is the second Houston E&P CFO to retire this week, following Jim Ulm at Callon Petroleum.



Vaalco’s primary source of revenue is from offshore Gabon in West Africa. It also has an undeveloped block in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The company has revenues of $67 million and a market capitalization of $139 million.

Ms. Prochnow joined the company in May 2015 as its Chief Accounting Officer and was promoted to CFO in April 2019.  According to the press release issued by the company, her husband has recently retired and they wish to spend more time traveling and with her family.

The company has initiated an executive search for a new CFO. In the meantime, Jason Doornik, the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, will serve as the interim CFO.

SEC filing – Prochnow retires