R. Davis Ravnaas, 31
Co-Founder and CFO, Rivercrest Royalties II LLC, Fort Worth
Co-founded Rivercrest Royalties LLC in 2013 while attending Stanford Graduate School of Business. Directly involved in investing approximately $350 million with Rivercrest and its partners through 16 acquisitions over the past three years.
Career path: Began his career at Goldman Sachs as an analyst in the investment banking, natural resources group. Worked in private equity at both Greenhill Capital Partners and Crestview Partners before co-founding Rivercrest.
Identifying opportunity: Believes that sometimes, the deals that are the hardest to analyze are the most worthwhile. “I have tried to push our team to focus on acquisitions that are poorly marketed, overly complex, cumbersome and/or misunderstood. These deals, in our experience, can be bought at more reasonable valuations.”
DIY: In late 2014, company acquired an extremely diverse set of Permian minerals, teaching him the importance of wearing many hats. “We were sent thousands of division orders across multiple counties. My brother Rand and I decided one morning to begin executing the documents ourselves by hand. One of our partners came into the conference room and couldn’t even see us behind the stacks of paper.”
Early interest: Grew up hearing stories about legendary oil and gas executives from his petroleum engineer father, Bob Ravnaas. “I always admired the entrepreneurial spirit, the risk-taking and the relationship-driven aspect of the business.”
Rewards of royalties: During the downturn, discovered the resilience of the royalty business model. “Because we have low overhead and no direct operating expenses or capital expenditure requirements, we have been able to protect our business.”
On quality over quantity: “Try to cultivate a smaller number of meaningful relationships instead of stretching yourself through networking.”