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Through the span of his career, David Carter has heard whisperings about the oil and gas industry dying out or becoming replaceable, but he doesn’t believe that’s possible. With an optimistic mindset, he looks forward to continuing to watch his team grow and thrive for years to come. Originally from Lawton, Okla., the Dallas-based businessman loves to see his company and coworkers succeed.
“I want to continue to grow RedOaks Energy Advisors,” he said. “We are just getting started, and I think there is a lot of running room left for us to grow. I see us adding additional people and hopefully growing our business through the successful completion of more transactions.”
Carter wants to help mentor the people on his team “to challenge them to grow within our organization, not just as professionals but as people,” he continued. “I’m just a small part of the team and look forward to watching them grow within our organization.”
Carter currently serves as managing director with RedOaks Energy Advisors in Dallas, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Mikalyn, and their two children, Beckett and Cannon.
Transition into energy
“Growing up in Oklahoma, I was exposed to the business from an outsider’s perspective. I didn’t have any family members in the industry but saw enough to pique my interest in the business. I started my career in public accounting and contemplated law school, but thankfully made my way to the oil and gas industry via commercial banking. I had a great mentor, Murphy Markham, who pushed me toward the banking industry. I was drawn to the oil and gas side of finance because it was specialized and unique from a lending perspective. Additionally, the volatility of the industry creates some thrill rides and a great learning experience when times get tough.”
“Starting and growing RedOaks Energy Advisors under the TenOaks Energy Advisors umbrella [is one of my biggest accomplishments]. In 2018 I was fortunate to be able to partner with the three founding partners of TenOaks Energy Advisors, BJ Brandenberger, Jason Webb and Lindsay Sherrer. They had an idea to create a platform to grow their company. They wanted to form a new entity that would focus on what we call “lower middle market” transactions in the E&P space. We focus on operated, non-operated and mineral transactions. Since inception, we have hit the ground running and been able to establish our presence in the market. We have been able to grow the team to five individuals that are primarily focused on the RedOaks platform. Our technical team is best in class, and I believe that helps differentiate us from our competitors. Three years in, we have done a good job of establishing the company, and we look forward to continuing to challenge ourselves and serve our clients to the best of our ability. I am thankful to be a part of the team, and we look forward to continued success.
Prior to forming RedOaks, I was a senior vice president for LegacyTexas bank. We were a regional bank that established a great group to build out an energy finance division. It was a unique platform because we were able to put together competitive and creative loans to capture a strong market presence in the middle market E&P space. I really enjoyed the competition of competing against the larger money center banks and periodically beating them out on agency deals. Every bank’s money is green, and we had to win on loan structuring and most importantly relationships. This platform helped me enhance my oil and gas knowledge and build a strong rolodex that helped me transition to RedOaks.”
Leader of the pack
“I try to set the tone every day and bring energy to what we are doing. Every person is unique, and you must lead each person in their own way. I try to lead by example by putting in the work. I also try to keep the environment fun, because if we aren’t having fun, then what’s the point of doing it.
I’ve worked with some great people over the years. Each of them had their own unique leadership style and that has helped mold me into the leader I am today. I do think that leaders are inherently born with the ability to lead. I try to be myself and open and honest with all my team members. If we are all having fun in the process, then things usually take care of themselves.”
Future of oil and gas
“Innovation is a key to the industry. We see young people all the time in this business that are coming up with more efficient and effective ways to accomplish things. Data is a big aspect of any industry, but specifically in oil and gas. The technical skills of the younger generation joining the industry is going to help drive efficiencies.
Capital discipline is at the forefront. The shale boom led to a lot of capital destruction that must be avoided to regain investor confidence. The public markets have spoken, and I think you are now seeing a much more disciplined approach by the larger public E&P companies in terms of drilling pace and living within free cash flow.”
Advice for young professionals
“My advice to young professionals is to get yourself out there as much as possible. Meet as many people as you can when you’re young and try to develop those relationships. You never know where your next opportunity is going to come from, but if you put yourself out there and establish a presence, good things are going to happen.
I also recommend working at a place where you are constantly learning. If you aren’t learning, then you aren’t growing. Don’t always go for something that is a short-term gain like a bump in compensation. Look for organizations where you can learn from great people. Once you find that, put your head down and put in the work and good things will happen.”
Three More Things
- I’m an avid follower of Energy FinTwit. Some of the most active guys on the platform are fellow nominees for this award. I don’t tweet but am an avid lurker. It’s a great place to get different opinions and real-time breaking news about the industry.
- I am highly, highly competitive. The feeling of losing is worse than the joy of winning.
- I went to OU, so I’m obviously a big SEC guy.