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

Michael Hanson, 35

Partner, Parkman Whaling LLC, Houston

Through a decade at Parkman Whaling LLC, Michael Hanson has directly advised on more than 35 engagements covering $7 billion in value and six merchant banking transactions totaling more than $250 million of invested capital. But it has been his experience advising parties in distressed situations where he has made a name for himself. With 12 distressed engagements and counting under his belt, Hanson and his colleagues at Parkman Whaling are frequently called when circumstances are complex and emotions heightened. “We don’t get layups,” Hanson said.

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Career path: While completing his MBA, Hanson interviewed for a position at Jim Parkman’s start-up, Parkman Whaling. “I started Day One of the firm, and for the past 10 years have been helping build the business.”

Hanson was originally attracted to investment banking because he loved valuing assets and companies and being in the middle of the action. “I recognized that knowing the numbers immediately placed you in a position of authority to influence decisions.”

Hanson and the team approach their role as advisers with the motivation to be helpful. “We talk frequently at our office about how we can better help our clients make well-informed decisions.” As part of this process, Hanson created and edits Parkman Whaling’s E&P Dashboard, a newsletter distributed to more than 1,000 people weekly. It covers E&P transactions, financing and price activity.

One of his most memorable challenges over the decade was his recent involvement in Energy XXI’s bankruptcy. Within one week of being engaged by Energy XXI’s independent directors, Parkman Whaling had to develop and successfully defend its valuation of Energy XXI in bankruptcy mediation “in front of multiple constituencies and their advisers and counsel, who had been working on the case for months.”

Audio Interview

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios