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Drilling in a Different Direction

Like his industry, Tim Perry follows an unconventional route to leadership

Tim Perry
Global Co-head of Oil and Gas Investment Banking, Credit Suisse

Vanderbilt MBA 1981

Tim Perry has never been one to follow convention. Upon graduating from college, he enrolled directly in what was then a relatively young business school, rather than seek an entry-level job at a bank or investment firm.

Tim’s instincts have served him well. Today he is Credit Suisse’s global co-head of oil and gas investment banking—the latest accomplishment in a distinguished 36-year career, half of which he has spent with the Swiss financial services company.

“I have been very fortunate,” says Tim, who was promoted from co-head of the Americas oil and gas group in December 2016. “Most of the people I work with attended Harvard, Wharton or University of Chicago. The exciting thing, though, is that Owen is on an upward trajectory. It’s become well-known and respected on Wall Street, and the Vanderbilt grads we’ve hired have done very well.”

In fact, Tim notes, he still relies on the critical thinking skills he developed while earning his MBA.

Based in Houston, Perry has spent the past two decades raising capital and executing M&A transactions for many of the leading private and public companies in the energy industry. In 2016 alone Credit Suisse executed approximately $15 billion in oil and gas equity offerings, which equates to about half of the sector’s global equity offerings completed that year. Credit Suisse’s oil and gas investment banking group ranked No. 2 in the world in 2016.

In recent years, Tim’s business has been transformed by the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” These new technologies, which now account for more than half of all oil and gas output in this country, have allowed the U.S. to increase its production more rapidly than at any other time in its history.

“We hear talk about energy independence in America, and I believe it really is within reach,” Perry says. “For a long time, we have been a big importer of natural gas, but
now we’re actually exporting it. These new extraction techniques have revolutionized the industry over the last few years.”

The oil and gas industry has seen its share of ups and downs over the past few decades, and it would have been easy for Perry to step away when times got tough, parlaying his investment banking experience into something else.

“People always ask me why I’m still in it, and I tell them that I find the industry to be extremely stimulating, thought-provoking, innovative and energetic,” he says. “Plus, I work with an amazing number of super-bright people who are highly motivated. It keeps things interesting every day. That’s why I’ve done it for so long.”

“We hear talk about energy independence in America, and I believe it really is within reach.”