Tag Archives: CFO

CFO out at Houston E&P company

Gleeson Van Riet has resigned as CFO of SilverBow Resources, effectively immediately. He has been replaced by Chris Abundis, currently General Counsel of the company. Mr Abundis will perform the CFO duties in addition to his current role.



SilverBow is based in west Houston and has a market capitalization of $148 million. The company operates in the Eagle Ford basin in South Texas. It was formerly known as Swift Energy which filed for bankruptcy in December 2015. After the company emerged from bankruptcy in April 2016, it changed its name to SilverBow.

Mr Van Riet was appointed CFO in March 2017. Prior to that he was the CFO of Sanchez Energy. For his severance package he will receive a payment of one year’s salary ($390,000) and one year’s target bonus ($292,500).  He will also receive an acceleration of time-based restricted stock units. These were valued at $85,000 at December 2018.

Mr Abundis joined the company in 2007 and has been the General Counsel since April 2016.

It’s not clear what triggered the departure of Mr Van Riet. The share price has halved since the start of the year, but that’s in line with other E&P companies. The company is not especially leveraged and generated a small positive free cash flow in the third quarter.

However the company did disclose a material weakness in internal controls in the second quarter pertaining to deferred tax accounting. This remained a weakness in the third quarter.

SEC filing – SilverBow CFO

 

Houston E&P company appoints new CFO

Penn Virginia Corporation has appointed Rusty Kelley as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective November 13, 2019. He replaces Steve Hartman, who is leaving the company as previously previously reported in July.



Penn Virginia filed for bankruptcy in May 2016 and moved its headquarters from Pennsylvania to west Houston as part of that process. It emerged from bankruptcy in September 2016.  In October 2018 the company announced that it would be acquired for $1.7 billion (including debt) by Denbury Resources. However that deal collapsed in March due to shareholder opposition.

Mr Kelley was previously the CFO of Extraction Oil & Gas, a public company based in Denver, from July 2014 to September 2019. Prior to that he worked as an investment banker for Moelis & Company and Goldman Sachs. He will have a base salary of $400,000.

Penn Virginia currently has a market cap of $411 million and an enterprise value of $933 million. That’s way below the $1.7 billion that Denbury agreed to pay. Given his investment banker background, I presume Mr Kelley has been brought in to help sell the company.

SEC filing – Penn Virginia new CFO

 

 

McDermott CFO resigns after worse than expected results

McDermott International has announced the resignation of CFO Stuart Spence, effectively immediately. Chris Krummel, currently the Chief Accounting Officer, has been promoted to the CFO position.



It’s been approximately two weeks since the company announced that it had obtained $1.7 billion in additional financing (at 12% interest rates) to tackle its liquidity crisis. In the same press release, the company also announced that the senior management were granted retention bonuses. Mr Spence was granted $1.3 million, with a third of that payable immediately.

McDermott announced third quarter results even worse than forecast last month in its refinancing presentation. Free cash flow for the quarter was a negative $146 million compared with negative $86 million in the presentation.

The SEC filing by the company makes no mention of the severance package, if any, that would be granted to Mr Spence. If he has truly resigned voluntarily he would be required to repay the retention bonus already paid out.

Interestingly, the company has signed contracts with the senior executives that only spell out severance payments in the event of a change in control. There is no formal provision for severance in the event of an involuntary termination without cause. When the predecessor to Mr Spence left in 2014 he received a lump sum payment of $640,000. His salary at the time was $515,000.

Mr Krummel joined the company in October 2016. He was previously the Chief Accounting Officer of Cameron International. No compensation was disclosed for Mr Krummel.

SEC filing – McDermott CFO resignation

Building Products company appoints new CFO

Quanex Building Products has appointed Scott Zuehlke as its new CFO. He became the interim CFO in June 2019 after previous CFO Brent Korb was let go.



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Quanex has a market cap of $635 million and is based in the Galleria area. The company designs and produces energy-efficient windows and doors fenestration products in addition to kitchen and bath cabinet components.

Mr Zuehlke has been with the company since 2016. Prior to that, he was VP, Investor Relations at Halcon Resources. The company had been conducting an executive search but elected to promote from within instead. Mr Zuehlke will receive a base salary of $330,000.

The company also appointed Mark Livingston as its new Chief Accounting Officer. He joined the company in February 2019, having previously served as the CAO of Omega Protein Corporation until it was taken private in December 2017.

Quanex also made similar moves with its General Counsel. It promoted Paul Cornett from the Deputy Counsel role and terminated the employment of Kevin Delaney who had been in the role since 2005. Mr Delaney will get a severance of $562,500 (representing 18 months’ of salary) and a pro-rata bonus for 2019.

SEC filing – Quanex Building Products – new CFO

Midstream MLP appoints new CFO

Michael Pearl has been appointed as the new CFO of the general partner of Western Midstream Partners.

Occidental fully owns the general partner stake and around 55% of the limited partner units. The company gained ownership following its takeover of Anadarko earlier this year. Western Midstream has a market cap of $10.3 billion and has its head office in The Woodlands.



Mr Pearl joined Anadarko in 2004 and served in various leadership positions such as Director of Tax, Treasurer, Corporate Controller and Senior VP of Investor Relations. He started his career at Ernst & Young.

Mr Pearl replaces Jaime Casas who has been appointed the VP and Treasurer of Occidental.

The company also announced the appointment of Catherine Green as the Chief Accounting Officer of the general partner of Western Midstream. She joined Anadarko in 2001 and started her career with Grant Thornton in the United Kingdom and Houston.

After its takeover of Anadarko, Occidental planned to sell Western Midstream to reduce debt. Or least sell enough of a stake so that it didn’t have to consolidate the $7.5 billion debt that Western Midstream carries.

Earlier this month, according to Reuters, Occidental shelved plans to sell Western Midstream because Western’s market value has dropped by 18% since July 30 and Occidental doesn’t want to sell at too low a price.

You can see the complete list of Houston-area publicly-traded companies here.

SEC filing – Western Midstream CFO

 

 

Petrochemical giant hires new CFO

LyondellBasell (market cap $29 billion) has hired Michael McMurray as its new CFO. He replaces Thomas Aebischer, who announced in May 2019 that he planned to retire at the end of the year.

Mr McMurray joins from Owens Corning (market cap $7 billion) where he had worked for the last eleven years, the past seven of which have been as CFO.



Owens Corning is based in Toledo, Ohio. However Mr McMurray is no stranger to Houston or petrochemicals. Prior to joining Owens Corning, he spent 21 years at Shell, holding such roles as VP of Shell Capital, global treasurer for Shell Chemicals and Americas Finance Manager for the Lubricants business. Mr McMurray is also a non-executive director of Flowserve, a Dallas-based pumps and valve manufacturer.

Mr McMurray will receive a base salary of $800,000 and a sign-on bonus of $750,000, payable on January 1, 2020. He also received an equity grant of $3.75 million that will vest over three years.

The base salary for Mr Murray will be the fourth highest among Houston-area public company CFOs. You can see the complete list here. Check out who is also fourth highest, the answer will surprise you.

Mr McMurray had a base salary of $645,000 at Owens Corning.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lyondellbasell-names-michael-mcmurray-executive-vice-president-and-chief-financial-officer-300937556.html

 

For sale midstream company appoints new CFO

Noble Midstream Partners has appointed Thomas Christensen as the CFO of the General Partner. He was appointed interim CFO in July 2019 and has been the Chief Accounting Officer since August 2016.



Noble Midstream has a market cap of $960 million and is based in NW Houston. It was spun off from its parent company, Noble Energy, in September 2016.  That was when MLP partnerships going public was in vogue.

Noble Midstream Partners still gets 57% of its total revenues from Noble Energy, who still own a 45% partnership interest in them.

According to a report in Bloomberg in early August, The Williams Companies, based in Tulsa, and New York PE firm, Global Infrastructure Partners, are working on a possible offer for the company.

The previous CFO, John Bookout resigned to pursue another opportunity in July. He was followed out the door by CEO, Terry Gerhart, and COO, John Nicholson, the following month. They resigned on August 9 to ‘pursue other business opportunities’. Brent Smolik, currently the COO of Noble Energy, was appointed CEO of the General Partner.

SEC filing – Noble appointment of CFO

Oilfield Products Distributor hires new CFO

Kelly Youngblood has been appointed as the next CFO of MRC Global, an oilfield products distributor, based in downtown Houston.

Mr Youngblood replaces Jim Braun, who announced last month that he intends to retire in March 2020. He has been the CFO since November 2011. Mr Youngblood will join MRC right away but won’t take over the CFO position until Mr Braun retires.



MRC Global is the largest distributor of pipe, valve and fitting products and services to the energy and industrial markets. It went public in 2012 and was previously called McJunkin Red Man Holding Corporation. The company has revenues of $4 billion and a market capitalization of $1 billion.

Mr Youngblood joins from BJ Services, another oilfield services company, where he had been CFO since December 2017. Prior to that, he was the CFO of Diamond Offshore Drilling and the VP of Investor Relations at Halliburton.

BJ Services filed for an Initial Public Offering in July 2017 but withdrew its registration statement in March 2019.

Mr Youngblood will receive a base salary of $500,000 (same as Mr Braun). He will also receive a signing bonus of $380,000 (to be paid in two installments in 2020) and an initial equity long-term incentive award with a target value of $1.5 million (to vest over three years).

SEC filing – Youngblood appointment

Biotechnology company hires interim CFO

Salarius Pharmaceuticals has hired Mark Rosenblum as Interim CFO. He replaces Scott Jordan, who has been appointed Chief Business Officer.

Salarius is based in the Medical Center. The primary drug in its pipeline is one that treats Ewing sarcoma, a bone cancer that affects children and young adults. The company moved from Salt Lake City in 2016 after receiving a $19 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.  The company went public in July 2019 via a reverse takeover.



According to LinkedIn Mr Jordan is based in Chicago while Mr Rosenblum is based in Dallas. Mr Rosenblum has been working as a consultant to Salarius since February 2019. He has previously served as CFO of another biotech company, Advaxis.

Although he is described as the Interim CFO, Mr Rosenblum has converted from a consultant to an employee. He will be paid $265,000. He will also get a guaranteed bonus of $19,300 for 2019 and $14,500 for Q1 2020.

SEC filing – Salarius Rosenblum

CFO of Offshore Drilling Contractor resigns

Adam Peakes has resigned as CFO of Noble Corporation (NE) with immediate effect. The company is an offshore drilling contractor. It has its registered head office in London but its operational office is in Sugar Land.

The company has begun a search for a successor. In the interim, the accounting and Treasury teams will report directly to CEO Julie Robertson.



Mr Peakes joined the company in January 2017 from investment bank, Tudor Pickering Holt, where he was Managing Director and Head of OFS Investment Banking.

The company will pay Mr Peakes (who had a base salary of $450,000) a severance payment of $1 million. Just this February 2019, the company announced it would pay Mr Peakes a retention bonus of $900,000 with one half vesting in December 2020, and the balance in December 2021. Not clear why he has gone from hero to zero in a few short months.

As with other Noble executives, the employment contract of Mr Peakes only outlines termination payments in the event of a change of control. There appear to be no clauses with regard to termination without a change of control.

When he joined the company, the stock price was $7.25. It now trades at $1.89 (market cap $488 million).

Interestingly, Mr Peakes’ former employer was in the news this week. The week before Mr Peakes joined Noble, TPH announced it would merge with New York-based Perella Weinberg Partners.

This week it was announced that, one of the partners, Dan Pickering, is spinning off the energy asset management part of the combined firm into his own company, Pickering Energy Partners. Bobby Tudor and Maynard Holt will remain with the investment bank.

SEC filing – Noble Corp CFO departure