Preng & Associates Adds Energy Search Veteran

December 1, 2015 – Executive search firm Preng & Associates has appointed Steve Raben as a senior consultant in its Houston office. He has led over 500 domestic and international client assignments for public and private oil & gas, petroleum equipment, service and hydrocarbon processing & transportation companies, at the board, C-suite and business segment leadership levels.

With a 30-year career in the search industry, Mr. Raben most recently founded and led his own firm, Raben Consulting Associates. Prior to that, he spent more than 11 years as a managing director with Russell Reynolds Associates. Earlier in his career, he was managing director with Ray & Berndtson.

“For 35 years, our practice has been built on the premise that the search process is most effective when conducted by professionals with significant industry experience,” said David Preng, president. “Steve’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the global energy industry is a tremendous asset to our firm and our clients. We’re excited to welcome him to the team.”

Founded in 1980 and with offices in Houston and London, Preng & Associates focuses on senior-level executive search for the energy and natural resources industries. Its consultants have previous employment with energy companies, including Ladd Petroleum, BHP, Shell, KBR, McDermott, Hamilton Bros., and a private equity E&P company.

A report issued by ManpowerGroup, ‘Strategies to Fuel the Energy Workforce,’ found that 58 percent of energy executives said they struggle to find the talent they need and 74 percent believe the problem will worsen over the next five years. Job categories identified as being in greatest demand included field workers, skilled trades, and highly educated professionals.

The study also found that the talent shortage may already be slowing growth and expansion throughout the sector. By some estimates, there will be three million energy sector jobs by 2020. In the utilities subsector, where half of the workforce is already over the age of 40 — 100,000 net new jobs are projected. Many of the positions will require tech-savvy candidates to keep pace with future developments.

In response, a number of headhunting firms have been growing within the energy sector to fill critical roles for clients. Korn Ferry recently bulked up its staff in the sector, naming former Heidrick & Struggles recruiter Chad Hesters as managing director of the firm’s Houston office and a senior client partner in its energy search practice.

Heidrick & Struggles, in turn, strengthened its oil, gas and power expertise in the firm’s global industrial practice with the addition of David Pruner. He joins the firm from Wood Mackenzie, a global research and strategic advisory firm specializing in the energy, chemicals, metals and mining industries, where he has been a senior vice president for the past 12 years.

Extract Talent opened its doors to serve clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups. The firm concentrates in the downstream sector of the oil, gas, chemicals, and catalysts industries.

This past summer, Diversified Search appointed Guy Sava as a managing partner and natural resources practice leader. Mr. Sava, who was with Heidrick & Struggles, has worked with global manufacturing, chemical, materials, energy and other industrial sector clients.

Jim Aslaksen recently joined ZRG Partners as managing director to further build out that firm’s global industrial practice. He has over 20 years of experience in leading assignments for CEOs, board directors and other senior level executives for global industrial organizations, frequently working within the chemical and process industries markets.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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