new hire

Firm hires top Houston-based energy banker to grow energy transition team

Top Houston banker Stephen Trauber has joined publicly traded investment bank Moelis & Co. Image via Shutterstock

Houston energy dealmaker Stephen Trauber has been tapped as chairman and global head of the energy and clean technology business at publicly traded investment bank Moelis & Co.

In 2010, The Wall Street Journalcalled Trauber “one of the best-connected energy bankers in Houston.”

Trauber comes to New York City-based Moelis from Citi, where he recently retired as vice chairman and global co-head of natural resources and clean energy transition. Before that, he was vice chairman and global head of energy at UBS Investment Bank, where he worked with Ken Moelis, who’s now chairman and CEO of Moelis.

“The global energy ecosystem is undergoing major consolidation and change,” Trauber says in a Moelis news release. “I look forward to actively participating in its strategic evolution and working with so many of our clients that are evaluating how best to create value during this period of transformation.”

In conjunction with Trauber’s hiring, Guggenheim Securities executives Muhammad Laghari and Alexander Burpee are joining Moelis as managing directors in Houston. They’ll work with upstream and midstream oil and gas clients. Laghari and Burpee previously were colleagues of Trauber at Citi.

During his career, Trauber has advised on more than $700 billion in energy deals, including mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs. Among the industry heavyweights involved in those deals were BP, Halliburton, Kinder Morgan, Nabors, Occidental Petroleum, Schlumberger, Shell, and Weatherford International.

“Steve is a recognized leader in the industry who has played a key role in many of the energy sector’s landmark transactions,” says Navid Mahmoodzadegan, co-founder and co-president of Moelis.

Three years ago, Trauber made waves when Spring-based ExxonMobil

rejected his pitch “to commit to a target for net-zero emissions even after shareholders staged a revolt over the company’s climate policy,” Bloomberg reported at the time.

Last year, Trauber joined the board of directors of Houston-based NEXT Renewable Fuels, the board of directors of Houston-based ASEAN Energy, and the M&A and transactions advisory board of London-based professional services giant Aon.

The three new hires at Moelis follow the September 2023 launch of its Clean Technology Group. Arash Nazhad of Houston is co-leader of the group.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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