PwC has promoted Niloufar Molavi to the role of Global Energy Leader – she takes the helm of an international industry team of more than 6,000 experts. Molavi has been tasked with leading the unit and helping energy clients deal with the winds of change sweeping through the industry.
Niloufar Molavi was most recently a Vice Chair at PwC’s US operation, as well as its Greater Houston Market Managing Partner and US Energy Leader. Her role included advising the firm’s energy clients in the US and internationally on matters related to tax structuring, mergers, acquisitions and potential public offerings. Previously, from 2009 to 2011, Molavi was the Chief Diversity Officer at PwC and, from 2005 to 2009, US Energy Tax Leader. Molavi made Partner in 2001 and joined PwC in 1991.
Molavi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business. Molavi sits on the board of McCombs School of Business and Dress for Success Houston. She also is a co-author of PwC’s recent CEO Survey.
The appointment sees Molavi take the helm of a practice with a more than 6,000-strong global team of energy specialists operating worldwide. The role will see Molavi support energy companies through considerable challenges as the wind of change sweep through the industry in favour of long term sustainable energy solutions to the world’s energy needs, at a time when segments of the energy market are already facing stiff headwinds from the oil glut. Molavi will, in addition, support industry players through the effects of digital disruption as new technologies, such as the IIoT, digitalisation and analytics are transforming how various companies are able to reduce costs, among others.
The changes, according to Molavi, will be double sided, “Global demand for affordable, reliable energy will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. But there is a new longer-term backdrop that countries and the industry must swiftly and effectively adapt to as the world transitions to alternate energy sources”. She adds “While there is an undisputed need to encourage greater collaboration between operators and service providers to drive efficiency, reduce costs, other disrupters such as digitisation, technology and data analytics are playing an increasingly significant role in this energy transformation journey.”
Regarding the task before her, Molavi remarks “Those countries and operators who can demonstrate the ability to respond to these challenges by taking a long term view, innovating, adapting and gauging major trends as they define medium-long term investment plans, as well as focussing on their market-leading strengths will reap the benefits.”
The appointment also ups the ante for the firm’s other Big Four competitors in terms of women in high ranking energy positions, and high ranking positions more generally – as the industry seeks diversity in its ranks. Molavi has used her influence to improve gender balance within the senior leadership of the firm’s global energy practice, she now leads a team boasting six female territory energy leaders. Molavi succeeds Ross Hunter, who has held the position for three years, and was instrumental in the integration of Strategy& with PwC.
Molavi adds “Ross Hunter has led the PwC global oil and gas team and our clients through a very turbulent economic period for the industry and I'd like to thank him for all he has done in building such a strong and successful client-focussed network.”