May 19, 2016 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been retained by VAALCO Energy, Inc. to lead its search for a chief financial officer. Don McCormack, the company’s current CFO, has resigned to spend more time with his family and pursue other opportunities.
According to recent reports, about one fifth of companies change their CFOs annually, and the market for financial officers talent has become increasingly competitive over the past year — with the best candidates often considering multiple opportunities at any one time.
VAALCO Energy is a Houston-based independent energy company principally engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil. The company’s properties and exploration acreage are located primarily in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Angola in West Africa.
Russell Reynolds Associates’ energy and natural resources practice recently expanded with the additions of Brian Bayne and Stuart Vardaman in Houston. With more than 17 years of experience in business and corporate development, Mr. Bayne previously served as general manager and global energy practice lead for Axiom Law, a global legal services company. Mr. Vardaman spent the past three years as an energy sector recruiting specialist with Spencer Stuart.
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 recruiting firms have been expanding their energy sector practices to fill critical roles for clients:
- Preng & Associates recently 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;
- 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;
- Earlier this year, executive search consultant Chris Reinsvold launch Reinsvold & Associates, LLC, an executive search and strategic consulting firm dedicated to serving the industrial and energy sectors. The firm, based in Houston, plans to name incoming recruiting consultants in the coming months.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media