Blake London has been holding it down at Credit Suisse for the past 14 years and has risen in the ranks since starting at the investment banking firm as a summer associate in 2004.
London reached a pivotal point in his career when he was named managing director by the age of 35, a position he earned by “hard work and approaching every task with a good attitude,” he says.
Today, London leads Credit Suisse’s energy equity capital markets division where he and his team have successfully raised approximately $27 billion over 66 lead left equity transactions since 2015.
“As one of the lead partners of Credit Suisse Energy ECM, I have helped our clients recapitalize, go public and manage through the volatile cycles utilizing the equity markets as the firm has established itself as a dominant leader,” he says.
Making deals: During his career, London has executed plenty of transactions and considers each one a success, even during this challenging environment.
“There’s no better feeling than successfully taking a company public or helping them execute a successful transaction,” London says. He was most recently involved in Brigham Minerals’ IPO, in April.
Though gratified by closing deals, he is passionate about the process from start to finish. “I love to partner with entrepreneurs at an early point in the company’s lifecycle and help them think through the important decision points along the way.
“Oil and gas is an entrepreneurial industry, which is what makes it so great,” he says.
Career path: Before London achieved the role of managing director, the Duke University graduate held several other positions at the firm that got him to where he is today.
At various points, he was director and vice president of Credit Suisse’s energy equity capital markets division, an associate in investment banking coverage and an analyst for its debt capital market branch.
“Approach your job like you are running your own company and think about building a company the right way.”
Personal challenges: When London was an associate at Credit Suisse, he broke his leg and hip in an accident that kept him from work for 2.5 months as he recovered.
“It reminded me to work hard but also to make sure you are enjoying life and taking nothing for granted.”
Best advice: London credits his father, Michael London, for his entrepreneurial mindset. His father has been an entrepreneur his entire life.
“He has always told me to approach your job like you are running your own company and think about building a company the right way and thinking about decisions from a long-term perspective.”
Because of his passion for entrepreneurship, London enjoys working at Credit Suisse on another level. “Working at Credit Suisse, ‘the entrepreneur’s bank,’ has given me a chance to do this on a regular basis and keeps life interesting,” he says.
Lessons learned: “Working in the oil and gas industry has taught me about resiliency,” London says. “Oil and gas is all about cycles, and seeing my clients successfully manage through cycles has taught me how to adapt and change and always think about long-term decisions.”
Advice for young professionals: Having common sense and a good attitude are two of the most important characteristics in a successful career that are often overlooked, London says.
“Working hard and having a good attitude go a long way to building a reputation, which is critical at any stage of your career. Not every part of the job is enjoyable, but approaching every aspect with a good attitude will help you be successful.”