Ian Levine

Vice President, Strategy & CFO, Moda Midstream, Houston
Ian Levine

Although he started his career in capital markets advisory, Ian Levine felt a strong connection to the oil and gas industry. Insistent on learning more about the industry at the source, he moved from New York to Texas to learn more and eventually joined Moda Midstream after meeting the founders in 2014.

“I witnessed the impact of unconventional drilling and its capacity to revolutionize the North American energy landscape and found myself particularly drawn to the oil and gas coverage universe,” Levine said. “I had an insatiable curiosity to learn everything I could about the industry. I was working at Deutsche Bank out of their New York City office but knew that if I wanted to learn more I needed to be in Texas.”

Levine lives in Houston with his wife and newborn son while he serves as vice president,  strategy and CFO of Moda Midstream.

A history of achievements

“I started my career in capital markets advisory, and it has been particularly rewarding leveraging my prior experience from the other side of the table. Managing our outstanding credit facility, rating agency and lender relationships has been a tremendous growth opportunity. In spite of challenging macroeconomic headwinds, I am particularly proud of the credit upgrades we received from both Moody’s and S&P during the fourth quarter of 2020. I’m fortunate enough to work with a great team that was able to execute and exceed all expectations, and the external validation from the rating agencies was certainly a rewarding achievement.

In September 2018, Moda acquired the Ingleside Terminal and related assets from Occidental Petroleum. I am proud to have been part of the transaction team and to have helped drive a significant part of the underwriting due diligence, market analysis, financial analysis, contract negotiations and financing package.

In January of 2021, we successfully refinanced a portion of our credit facility and upsized our revolving credit facility. The successful transaction was a testament to the growth of the platform and affords the company even greater flexibility with regard to additional growth opportunities.

In 2021 we published our second annual sustainability report. As a core member of the publication and strategy team, I am particularly proud of our accomplishments and the ongoing efforts to responsibly handle products vital to our daily lives. In 2021 we adopted a more robust framework for reporting and greatly enhanced the scope of our report. The multidisciplinary effort to articulate our ESG strategy was a rewarding experience and has been well-received by our stakeholders.”

Overcoming challenges

“The most challenging project to date has been the strategy and due diligence around the Ingleside acquisition, followed by the integration of the assets and personnel into Moda’s platform. The acquisition itself required a tremendous amount of strategic thought and coordinated diligence. The project demanded extensive analysis across multiple disciplines (finance, commercial, engineering) and overnight catapulted my responsibilities. Securing the debt and equity financing packages, and subsequently managing our credit agreement and treasury efforts, provided for an entirely new (and rewarding) experience. Fortunately, I had exposure to a subset of my new responsibilities earlier in my career, albeit from the other side of the table. Being able to leverage my prior experience was critical to managing my expanded role at Moda.”

Learning while leading

“Working with a group of talented and intelligent people affords me tremendous opportunities to learn from the best. I like to think everyone has something they can teach you, and I let that feed my curiosity. I listen and observe those around me and try to incorporate those qualities that make my peers the best at what they do into my own day-to-day activities.

In spite of Moda’s rapid growth, we remain a small company at heart. We tend to wear many different hats, myself included. Over the years I have found myself stepping in to fill gaps where needed and encouraging peers to do the same as we continue to grow. My own efforts have ranged from crafting a report analyzing a particular sub-market to aid business development efforts to helping place our insurance programs. Most recently, I have stepped up to drive dialogue around our ESG strategy and pilot a small-scale solar project. Separately, I have sought to mentor others within the organization to think beyond the immediate task at hand and to better understand how one piece fits into a larger puzzle.”

Constantly evolving

“I expect that our industry will continue to strengthen its narrative around energy transition and the ESG landscape. Industry groups and organizations have emerged as key platforms for collaboration and the sharing of ideas in this regard. By working together, I believe we can tell a unified story and promote all of the ways in which our industry creates value for society.

I marvel at the pace of change and evolution of our industry. The status quo is rarely fixed for extended periods of time, which in turn creates new opportunities (and challenges) to think through. When I started my career, no one could have predicted the shale revolution, negative WTI prices, OPEC+ or the rise of the United States as a global energy superpower. We’re all part of a global game of chess, one in which entire nations move pieces on the board and alter hydrocarbon flows—to me, that is fascinating.”

Three More Things

  1. I built a workbench in an apartment with hand tools (chisel, hand saw, glue)—no power.
  2. I was weeks away from becoming a currency trader, but the position fell through unexpectedly, and it was probably for the best.
  3. Music has always been a passion of mine. When I was younger, I spent countless hours playing piano and trumpet, ultimately culminating in an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall.