Honorees
Thirty Under 40
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Kyle M. Kafka, 34

Managing Director, EnCap Investments LP, Houston

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2006, spent two years at First Albany Capital in the energy investment banking group as an equity analyst. Also worked at Amegy Bank of Texas in the commercial banking department. Is on the board of several EnCap portfolio companies.

Kyle Kafka headshot
Career path:
From UT, went directly to Amegy Bank. “I thought banking would be a good way to see a lot of industries. Amegy had a good analyst program that provided me with a solid understanding of how companies operate, the balance-sheet composition and what is important from a credit perspective. It was a good, practical application of finance skills and tough me a lot about credit-risk assessment.”

His big break into energy came when he joined First Albany Capital in 2004 as energy was taking off again. “Michael Lou, who was a friend of a friend at the time and is a close friend now, approached me to work with them as an equity analyst. He, Jim Hansen and Victor Barcot had left Bank of America Securities to start an energy investment-banking group in Houston for First Albany.”

On mentors: At First Albany, was calling on small E&P companies and offering them advice and capital-raising services, particularly PIPEs. “Michael Lou, who became one of my mentors, is now the CFO at Oasis Petroleum. I learned a lot from him about the energy business.”

On joining EnCap: “It was a great opportunity to continue to grow in the field of energy entrepreneurship and to learn from great people with tremendous experience—both within EnCap and among our clients.”

Good partners: “Looking ahead 30 years from now, I hope I will have formed a lot of meaningful relationships with people. I’d like to look back and think we were good partners to lots of people and had a lot of success together.”

A memorable deal: The Oasis IPO in 2010. The S-1 filing to the pricing was just more than three months. “A 48-million-share offering, with the overallotment. You learn a lot, going through a process that’s new; you’re learning every step of the way. And the success of Oasis has been meaningful to everyone involved.”

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With appreciation to Grant Thornton for their support