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Credit Suisse Joins Firms Starting Oilfield Advisory Unit

Credit Suisse Group AG became the latest investment bank to start a specialized unit to help energy companies buy and sell oil and gas fields, hiring Bank of Montreal’s Bruce Cox to run the team.

Cox, trained as a petroleum engineer, will join in September as a Houston-based managing director, Zurich-based Credit Suisse said in an internal memorandum yesterday. Its contents were confirmed by spokesman Jack Grone.

Credit Suisse joins Lazard Ltd. and Evercore Partners Inc. as recent entrants in the oil and gas “acquisition and divestiture” business. The work often involves running auctions for oil and gas fields using specialized engineering and geological expertise.

Lazard hired an A&D banker from Bank of Nova Scotia this year, and Evercore recruited a Scotia team last year. Jefferies Group Inc., Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Macquarie Group Ltd., Merrill Lynch & Co., and Royal Bank of Canada have all bought A&D boutiques since 2005, and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., founded in 2006, has an A&D team.

Cox worked at Exxon Corp. for nine years, followed by 17 years at Netherland, Sewell & Associates Inc., an oil and gas consulting firm, according to the memo, signed by Tim Perry, head of oil and gas investment banking for the Americas. He later oversaw technical services at Calgary-based Tristone Capital Inc., an energy advisory boutique, before joining Bank of Montreal in 2009.

Cox is “ideally suited to lead the bank’s entry into the A&D business,” Perry said in the memo.

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