Energy consultancy Opportune has over the past months added seven Managing Directors to its ranks in the US. Gary Pittman, Gauthier van Marcke, Glenn Babic, Bryan Gaston and Martin Martinez have joined Opportune’s Houston office, Will Holden and Scott Anchin are both based in New York.
Founded in 2005, Opportune is a US based management consulting firm that specialises in the energy and oil & gas industries, including upstream, midstream, downstream, power and gas, commodities trading and oilfield services. Opportune’s offerings, provided by the firm’s twelve practice areas, range from strategy consulting and corporate finance to financial management, outsourcing and chemical engineering.
Over the past decade Opportune has seen strong growth – the team has grown from a one-man show just after inception (founder David Baggett) to the current size of more than 300 consultants. The consultancy is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has further operations in Dallas, Denver, New York, Tusla, and, since October last year, an office in London as well.
To meet the growing demand for its services, Opportune has over the past months added seven Managing Directors – the level under Partner at the consultancy – to its leadership team. Six of the seven senior hires have been poached from rival consulting firms, and all are based in the US.
Gauthier van Marcke has over 20 years of experience leading commercial development and strategic execution in the E&P, midstream and financial services sectors. Prior to joining Opportune, Van Marcke worked as a Managing Director for Galway Group, a Houston based consulting and advisory firm that specialises in natural gas and LNG value chains. Previously he served, among others, Ion Geophysical, Capital One and Exxon. “Gauthier’s proven ability to leverage strong analytical and leadership skills make him a valued addition to our team,” says Managing Partner David Baggett.
Glenn Babich, poached from PwC, where he worked in the firm’s energy consultancy unit, has extensive experience designing and executing performance improvement programmes for major energy and petrochemical companies in the US, Europe and Asia. At PwC, where he spent three years, Babich’s focus was on delivering financial turnaround strategies for international energy companies. Prior to that, he worked for nearly two decades in the consulting industry, serving global management consultancies Accunomics, BearingPoint, Capgemini Consulting and PwC. Babich started his career with electronic manufacturer Ingersoll Rand. “Glenn is a known leader in the downstream oil and petrochemicals sector,” comments Opportune Partner Matt Flanagan. “His unique blend of operational, financial and strategy expertise with a focus on improving financial performance will be a great addition to our team.”
Bryan Gaston specialises in financial advisory services such as restructuring and forensic accounting investigations and has advised companies and their creditors both in and out of court. He has also managed several energy-related restructuring situations on behalf of secured lenders, debtors and unsecured creditor committees. Gaston in addition has extensive experience in sizing, negotiating and placing Debtor in Possession financing and cash collateral orders, complex financial modelling and projections, strategic advisory and leading asset sale transactions.
Gaston joined from Conway MacKenzie, where he served as Managing Director, based in Houston, and, prior to that, he worked for AlixPartners, as a Director in Dallas, and for a boutique restructuring firm. Before beginning his restructuring career, Gaston held roles in commercial lending and business valuation at Merrill Lynch as well as performed audit and litigation consulting services at KPMG. “Bryan’s industry and subject matter expertise are a great addition to our firm’s restructuring practice,” says Opportune Partner, John Echols. “He will be a highly valued member of our team.”
Martin Martinez has over twenty-four years of experience in income tax accounting, compliance, research and planning activities. He is skilled in designing and implementing tax planning strategies and integrated software solutions to ensure compliance with global tax regulations, maintain internal controls and drive continuous process improvements. Over the past years, Martinez has served clients in all sectors of the energy industry as well as the mining, engineering, construction and manufacturing industries.
Prior to joining Opportune, Martin served as a Partner at BDO where he delivered corporate tax consulting, tax compliance and tax accounting services. He also served clients in transaction support roles including tax planning and structuring, execution assistance and financial reporting of income taxes. Previously, he worked eleven years for accounting firm Fitts, Roberts & Co., and roughly ten years for Enron, SONAT Exploration and KPMG. Dean Price, a Partner at Opportune: “Martin’s industry and subject matter expertise are a great addition to our firm’s tax practice.”
In New York, Opportune has added two senior executives from Alvarez & Marsal. William (Will) Holden brings over 20 years of experience as a finance and operations restructuring professional. Holden began his career in investment banking with Merrill Lynch and has since worked in debt capital markets, operations and consulting as a generalist across multiple industries. Prior to serving Alvarez & Marsal Holden worked as an independent consultant.
Scott Anchin has nearly 20 years of experience and specialises in providing restructuring advisory services to companies and stakeholders in distressed situations, across a variety of industries. Anchin’s primary areas of expertise include liquidity and working capital management, bankruptcy planning and strategy and development and implementation of strategic business plans. He spent seven years with Alvarez & Marsal in the firm’s New York, and, prior to that, worked as an entrepreneur and Cortiva Institute, among others. “Will and Scott are both highly experienced financial consultants with a record of serving clients in difficult, complex environments. We are excited to have them aboard as we continue to expand our New York presence,” comments Opportune Partner John Echols.
Gary Pittman has broad financial and operational management skills in the oil and gas upstream, chemical, and manufacturing industries. Over the last five years prior to joining Opportune, Gary was the Chief Financial Officer of Geokinetics, a land and shallow water geophysical service company that offers a range of geophysical solutions to the petroleum and mining industries. Before that, he held several CFO roles, leading finance teams and helping companies through turnarounds. “We are excited to add to our team a proven leader with a track record of success in energy restructurings,” says Opportune Partner, Sean Clements. “Gary brings over 30 years of experience to our debtor side restructuring qualifications.”
Earlier this year Opportune added three new partners to its partnership, and promoted two advisors to the role of Managing Director.