Presented by Grant Thornton, Preng & Associates, Citigroup and The University of Oklahoma Price College of Business Energy Institute

David Cecere, 32

Principal, Oil and Gas Private Equity, Tailwater Capital, Dallas

Joined Tailwater Capital at inception with former HM Capital partners Edward Herring and Jason Downie. Directly responsible for portfolio coverage and transaction sourcing and execution of the company’s four funds. Member of board of directors of Petro Waste Environmental, Topsail Energy and TexStar Midstream Logistics.

Entrée to oil and gas: Fell into oil and gas accidentally; moved to Houston along with most of his friends and became an investment banking analyst in the global energy and power group at Merrill Lynch. Focused on energy ever since.

Leading the way: “Leadership is less about what you say and more about what you do. Your team needs to believe you are competent and striving to create opportunities for them.”

Long-term view: Strives to face “the challenge of making long-term capital decisions in such a dynamic industry. It requires consideration of layers upon layers of complexity, from intra-basin dynamics to macroeconomic and geopolitical forces that, as we have seen, can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans.”

Natural progression: Intentionally avoids setting milestones. “I believe career progress occurs in step-functions, the timing of which is opportunity-driven and therefore hard to predict.”

Risks and rewards: Advises other young professionals to take risks for the right opportunities. “Risk aversion often sets in for people as they get older. It is important to get training on fundamental skills early in your career, but it is also the time to take entrepreneurial risks.”

Lessons learned: “Always know what you are solving for, both professionally and personally.”

On setbacks: Feels strongly that “when one door closes, another one opens. Life is not linear or
predictable. Stick with it.”