Sept 1 (Reuters) - Pickering Energy Partners (PEP) is launching a financial advisory unit for oil and gas dealmaking, the investment firm said on Friday, doubling down on traditional fossil fuels as some banks are becoming wary about the industry and ramping up their bets on clean energy.
The launch of the investment banking unit marks a return to oil and gas advisory services for Dan Pickering, the veteran energy financier who helped form Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co, an energy boutique bank that was acquired by Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP.O) in 2016.
The new seven-member unit will be spearheaded by two former Barclays Plc (BARC.L) dealmakers, Jason Kivett and Robyn Underwood, and offer services including mergers & acquisitions advisory and capital markets issuance.
Houston-based PEP has an existing investment banking unit that focuses solely on energy transition, while the firm's other offerings include equity research, investment funds, and consulting services.
The current iteration of PEP was spun out of Perella Weinberg in 2019, and has since deployed more than $16 billion in capital across the energy industry, as per its website. All non-compete agreements between the two firms have now expired, enabling Pickering to pursue oil and gas advisory work.
Some banks in recent years have attempted to transition away from oil and gas, and place greater focus on dealmaking in the renewables industry, responding to the growth of green energy but also pressure from shareholders and regulators wary of fossil fuels and their role in causing climate change.
Banks including BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) have pulled back from oil and gas dealmaking over the past few years. More recently, Credit Suisse, once among the most active banks in the energy sector, shuttered its Houston office after being taken over by UBS Group AG (UBSG.S).
To be sure, many traditional lenders continue to advise the world's biggest oil and gas companies, earning lucrative fees for their efforts across a host of services.
This includes M&A, with dealmaking involving U.S. upstream companies at robust levels so far this year, as publicly-listed producers seek to add scale and inventory through mergers with rivals, and acquisitions of privately-held companies.
"This is a great time to be pushing more chips onto the table in the energy market, and that's what we're doing," Pickering told Reuters, adding his firm's investment banking arm plans to double headcount over the next two to four years.
Reporting by David French in New York; Editing by Anirban Sen and Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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