Meet the members

John Bigham, Managing Director, Head of Oil & Gas, EMEA, Nomura

16 November 2016

How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?

As a banker, I have advised and raised capital for oil and gas clients at several stages, and across a variety of geographies, throughout my career which started in the early 1990s. I became exclusively focussed on the sector just under 10 years ago.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today's global oil and gas markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?

There is a great opportunity for buyers with robust balance sheets to acquire quality assets of scale as the majors and others continue to restructure their portfolios. Unlocking these deals requires a deep understanding of our clients’ strategic priorities which enables us to provide relevant M&A advice along with appropriate financing and risk solutions.

If you could wave a magic wand over our industry, what would you change and why?

In an ideal world, we would see more counter-cyclical activity. Understandably, a risk-averse mind-set tends to prevail across the industry and the financing markets during cyclical downturns. However, this can often be the best time to transact in order to achieve long term strategic objectives on attractive terms.

What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?

Nomura is a Japanese head-quartered international wholesale investment bank. Like the oil and gas sector, investment banking markets are also facing challenges at present. At times like these, we need to stay close and relevant to our core clients to generate sustainable revenues whilst actively managing our cost base in order to maximise profits for our shareholders.

What takeaways would you like attendees at World Oil & Gas Week to go home with regarding your company and your work?

Although we continue to have a dominant position in our home market of Japan, Nomura also has significant international investment banking and global markets businesses, with a presence throughout the rest of Asia, the EMEA region and the Americas. We are a very client-centric organisation and therefore aim to deliver this international network for the benefit of our clients.

We also provide bespoke advice and financing solutions to our clients in order to help address their strategic issues. Specifically, we can offer our clients financing solutions in tough capital markets, relevant M&A options on both the buy and sell sides to optimise portfolios as well as balance sheet risk management strategies.

What is your proudest work-related achievement to-date?

Over the last 18 months, and against a tough oil and gas sector backdrop, Nomura has managed to close some high profile deals. These have included the sale of Talisman to Repsol for an EV of $13.3bn and the sale of Dragon Oil to Emirates National Oil Company which valued Dragon's entire equity at $6.2bn. We have also been advising Chubu Electric on the formation of JERA, the world's largest buyer of LNG, and JX on its $6.3bn merger with TonenGeneral.

Name one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?

I am a keen mountaineer, having climbed a number of interesting peaks in some remote but beautiful parts of the world, including the highest mountains in Antarctica and Greenland.

What three items would you take with you to a desert island?

i) Large bowie knife with ferro rod

ii) Library of books

iii) Ipod and speakers (both solar powered!)

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