Presented by Grant Thornton and Preng & Associates. Photography by Evin Thayer Studios.

Kaes Van’t Hof, 32

Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development-Diamondback Energy Inc., Midland, Texas

Kaes Van’t Hof is also the president of Viper Energy Partners, also located in Midland. He never takes for granted that he became the president of one company and a senior vice president of another at an early stage in his oil and gas industry career. With him watchful at the helm, Diamondback is hot on deals and there is exciting buzz around a midstream subsidiary, Rattler, which he could not discuss in much detail. Rattler had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission before press time.

“In the course of two weeks, our company was able to announce two trades which will transform Diamondback and catapult us into the large-cap E&P peer group,” Van’t Hof says of the recent $1.25 billion acquisition of Ajax Resources LLC and the $9.2 billion acquisition of Energen.

“Our focus now is going to be integrating those deals and continuing to execute at our best-in- class operating metrics.”

Diamondback is proving to be a dominant force in the Permian Basin. With Rattler in the wings, another focus, Van’t Hof says, is to keep growing the booming $4.5 billion minerals business, which is Viper. “Our department is very small, but I am proud of all we are able to accomplish with only four people,” Van’t Hof says of his own department within the company. “Together, we handle corporate development, capital markets and investor relations” for both Diamondback and Viper.

Early days: “I used to run a drilling company, Bison Drilling, in Midland. The company peaked at 450 employees in 2014 and, through the downturn, hit a low of less than 100 employees. As CEO, there had to be leadership in making these tough decisions, starting with your own compensation.”

Advice for young professionals: “My No. 1 rule of management/advice for young professionals in any industry is: ‘know what you don’t know.’”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios