Sarah Morgan said entering the energy industry was “more luck than intentional.” After growing up in the panhandle of Florida, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Rice University in Houston and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
She now co-heads Vinson & Elkins’ Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets practice group.
“Though I was very proud to be the youngest female promoted to partner at Vinson & Elkins at the time I was promoted, I was also very honored that the firm’s leadership trusted me enough to appoint me as a practice group leader of M&A and capital markets, our largest group,” Morgan said.
She is an experienced securities lawyer who focuses on capital-raising transactions for clients in the energy industry. She regularly advises companies and private equity funds concerning IPOs, debt and equity offerings, M&A and other transactions. Morgan also provides regular day-to-day counseling to her clients on securities disclosure and corporate governance, compliance and ESG matters. She has deep experience with all sectors of the energy industry and regularly presents and publishes on topics relating to the energy transition.
Morgan also serves as a sponsor member of the Houston chapter of Women Corporate Directors, a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, and a member of the Clean Tech Leaders Roundtable.
She lives in Houston with her husband, and they have four children together.
“What I have always loved about working in energy is that my job is never boring. I joined Vinson & Elkins in 2004 as an associate and in that time have cycled through booms and busts related to everything from geopolitical crises to natural disasters to global pandemics to production shortages to technological innovations. Through it all, I have had the amazing opportunity to help my clients navigate these changes all the while completing large, complex deals.”
“My favorite projects have always been taking companies public through an initial public offering [IPO]. The relationships built during these intense processes are lifelong, and work is just generally more satisfying when you develop those really great relationships with your clients. I also love that IPO processes give me an opportunity to really dig in and understand a client’s business and help them tell their story to access the capital markets and next stage of growth. The breadth and variety of both the industries and transactions I’ve experienced in two decades of taking companies public keeps the work fun and interesting too, and so many of the deals I have worked on touched energy in some form or fashion.”
“I’m bullish on the energy transition but not at the total expense of traditional energy. I’ve been asked many times to pinpoint the one change required for a carbon-neutral future. The answer is all of the above.”—Sarah Morgan
Juggling work and motherhood
“Work did become more challenging once I had my daughter. She is hands down the best thing I have ever done, and being the best mom I can for her is my No. 1 priority. Before I had my daughter, there was literally nothing I would say no to—a new deal, flying across the country for a pitch, a speaking opportunity, a work dinner. I was all in and all over it. Now I’m a bit more judicious with my time and priorities, and that sometimes is challenging because I am the kind of person that wants to give 110% to everything, and that just isn’t possible when you have lots of competing priorities. That said, I know that I am a better mom for my daughter when I am working and fulfilled by work and client and peer interaction too, so I don’t spend a ton of time feeling guilty about having a very demanding job. I don’t know that any of that is unique to the energy or legal industry though. I think I pretty much just described most working moms in intense jobs across every industry.”
“What I’m really most excited about right now is the energy transition. Decarbonization of everything is the next mega trend, and it’s here now. And it’s going to require an enormous amount of capital—trillions of dollars over the next three decades to fund it. I am focused on what that means for my clients, both my clients in traditional energy that are helping pioneer developments in hydrogen and carbon capture and lowering the carbon intensity of the critical products and services they provide and my clients in the renewable and clean tech sector that are going to be a huge piece of advancing decarbonization as well.”
THREE MORE THINGS
Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.
2022-08-03 - APA, the holding company of Apache, didn’t disclose the seller but, earlier on Aug. 3, Reuters reported that the company was buying assets in Texas from privately owned Titus Oil & Gas.
2022-06-14 - Harold Hamm, an industry icon who helped lead the charge to lift America’s 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports, founded Continental Resources in 1967 at the age of 21.
2022-05-19 - The $7 billion “merger of equals transaction” of Centennial Resource Developement and Colgate Energy will create the largest pure-play E&P company in the Delaware Basin of the Permian.
2022-08-08 - Calgary, Alberta-based Cenovus Energy has owned 50% of the refinery since its combination with Husky Energy in 2021.
2022-06-30 - Despite skepticism around the energy transition and net-zero goals, some countries and companies are already making progress. Here’s how.