Private investment banking firm Peter J. Solomon Company (PJSC) today announced the launch of a new Energy Advisory Group and the appointments of veteran sector bankers John C. Rice and George R. Ward as Managing Directors and Group Co-Heads. Messrs. Rice and Ward, who were most recently Managing Directors at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Company, will be joined by Thomas L. Gardner as Managing Director and Head of A&D, who previously served as Managing Director within Merrill Lynch’s Global Energy Investment Bank before joining Natixis Americas in late 2015. More additions to the Group are planned in the coming months. The firm also announced the opening of an office in Houston, Texas, where the practice will be based.

“We are thrilled to expand our strategic advisory services into the energy sector, especially given the heightened activity of today’s market,” said PJSC Founder and Chairman Peter J. Solomon, who went on to add, in reference to PJSC’s announced combination with Natixis, that the group will serve as a valuable complement to the French financial services firm’s energy platform. “Natixis’s presence in the global energy sector is tremendous. We see significant synergies between their capabilities and the unparalleled advisory expertise that John, George and their team will be able to provide clients.”

Messrs. Rice and Ward hold more than 40 years of energy investment banking experience and have partnered since 2004 as leading advisors to the energy community. Prior to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Company, they served as Managing Directors and Co-Heads of the Energy Group at Berenson & Company. The broad range of domestic and cross-border transactions on which they have advised includes mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, bankruptcies, and public and private capital raisings for clients across the energy chain, from upstream to cleantech. The team’s extensive sector relationships include those with Southwestern Energy, Chesapeake, Anadarko, BP Lower 48, Tallgrass, Energy Transfer, PennTex, Exelon, Avangrid, and Cleco.

“Peter J. Solomon Company is well-known for the strength of its M&A and restructuring practices and record of delivering innovative solutions to complex issues,” said Messrs. Rice and Ward. “We are excited to draw upon their deep strategic and operational expertise to build what we believe will be a unique and valued advisory suite for the upstream, upstream A&D, midstream and power & utilities sectors.”

PJSC Chief Executive Officer Marc Cooper described the addition of the energy group as the first of several planned expansions for the firm. “We are entering a period of rapid growth,” said Cooper. “As part of our comprehensive growth strategy, we will continue to bring on top-tier talent and extend our advisory services into new sectors and geographies.”