BMO taps industry veteran to head part of its U.S. energy team

Wed Sep 9, 2015 2:45pm EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal said on Wednesday it has tapped Geoff Roberts to lead the U.S. acquisitions and divestitures practice of its global energy group.

Roberts, who prior to this ran his own advisory services firm, is being tasked with a role that will likely involve strengthening and rebuilding BMO's A&D team in the United States.

The team facilitates the buying and selling of oil and gas deposits and carries out the complex engineering and technical research needed to value the deposits.

The bank's U.S. A&D practice took a hit earlier this year when Swiss rival UBS AG poached some 15 of BMO's A&D bankers, significantly weakening its energy dealmaking team in the United States.

BMO's investment banking business in the oil and gas sector has shifted as lower oil prices have slowed dealmaking.

The business now focuses less on initial public offerings and multibillion-dollar company acquisitions, and more on advising companies on specific asset acquisitions and sales of oil and gas deposits, as energy companies hone their portfolios to focus on core regions and basins.

That has made it crucial for banks to have strong A&D teams that can value these assets and facilitate deals in an environment of low energy prices.

BMO said Roberts, a petroleum engineer with more than 30 years of industry experience in acquisitions and divestitures, will work closely with BMO's energy investment and corporate banking teams globally, as well as its A&D teams in Calgary and London.

"Geoff brings tremendous industry experience to this crucial role in our U.S. oil and gas practice," said Shane Fildes, BMO's global head of energy in a statement, adding that his addition to the team boosts BMO's capabilities in the specialized area. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)