Howard Barnwell, 38
Director, A&D Advisory, BMO Capital Markets, Houston
Co-managed and helped rebuild BMO’s A&D effort in 2015 after the exit of many senior staff members. Executed existing business and gained new business, while developing the new team. Sellside advisor to Newfield Exploration on its $390 million divestiture of its Eagle Ford and South Texas properties earlier this year.
Career path: Previously, associate director, M&A and energy groups at UBS Investment Bank; sole listing agent for Weatherford International’s Swiss Exchange common stock offering and buyside advisor to EMC Corp. on its $2 billion unsolicited tender offer and acquisition of Data Domain.
Proudest achievement: Spearheading commercial team for BMO’s Energy A&D Advisory group following his role in the sale of Merit Energy’s Powder River Basin assets.
Pulling it off: Amazed by the prudent risk-taking, drive and determination of the people in the oil and gas industry. “The success that many operators have achieved in transforming previously marginal oil and gas plays into highly economic ones is a testament to the individuals leading and working for these organizations and their ability to recognize potential and act on it.”
Mentor’s method: Doug Perley, who “made a science out of rigorous commercial analysis,” advised him to “Ask a lot of questions, honor the data and do right by your partners/clients.”
Lasting power: Sticks it out to the very end. “Success is often determined by the last 10% of effort rather than the first 90%.”
Silver linings: Embraces the positive side of the downturn—“it pushes us to really monitor our expenses and efficiency. On the talent side, it has presented some tremendous opportunities that are positioning us extremely well for the rebound.”
Think ahead: Advocates taking a long view and “surrounding yourself with smart, mentoring coworkers as you tirelessly pursue your passion. If you are ready when the opportunity presents itself, success will likely follow.”