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

Sanjiv Shah, 35

Managing Director of Investment Banking, Simmons & Co. International, Houston

Joining Simmons was a life-changing event for Sanjiv Shah. When he received an offer in 2008 to work at its Houston office, he was living in Zurich, Switzerland—and had not an ounce of oil and gas industry experience.

“While I was initially daunted by the steep learning curve, it encouraged me to immerse myself in industry-related publications and articles, studying companies and attending networking events,” Shah says. “Having to overcome that learning curve taught me the importance of staying current on news, events and people in such a dynamic industry.”

Despite his initial lack of industry knowledge, Shah caught on quickly. Less than eight years after joining Simmons as an analyst, he was promoted to managing director.

Career path: After graduating from college, Shah began working as an investment banker for Citigroup in London and Zurich. In the U.K., he worked as a controller for the European global loans and leveraged finance product groups. Later, in Zurich, Shah worked as a corporate banker covering the banking and insurance sectors. He has more than 14 years’ experience in investment banking.

On motivation: Today at Simmons, Shah works with an assortment of clients, ranging from public companies to private billionaire investors. This diversity helps drive his passion for working in the industry. He advises OFS clients on strategic options, among other tasks.

“I get to work with some of the smartest and most impressive people I’ve ever met,” he says. “The variety of characters and entrepreneurs in the oil and gas industry make every deal I work on different, interesting and challenging.”

Advice for young professionals: “Work hard and be honest. Never compromise long-term integrity for short-term gains.”

Quotable: “Don’t always worry about seeking immediate personal gain or gratification. It is important to think long-term when it comes to building relationships as it’s a smaller industry network than you might initially think.”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios