Kyle M. Kafka

Managing Director, EnCap Investments LP, Houston

Kyle Kafka headshot Career path: From UT, went directly to Amegy Bank. “I thought banking would be a good way to see a lot of industries. Amegy had a good analyst program that provided me with a solid understanding of how companies operate, the balance-sheet composition and what is important from a credit perspective. It was a good, practical application of finance skills and tough me a lot about credit-risk assessment.”

His big break into energy came when he joined First Albany Capital in 2004 as energy was taking off again. “Michael Lou, who was a friend of a friend at the time and is a close friend now, approached me to work with them as an equity analyst. He, Jim Hansen and Victor Barcot had left Bank of America Securities to start an energy investment-banking group in Houston for First Albany.”

On mentors: At First Albany, was calling on small E&P companies and offering them advice and capital-raising services, particularly PIPEs. “Michael Lou, who became one of my mentors, is now the CFO at Oasis Petroleum. I learned a lot from him about the energy business.”

On joining EnCap: “It was a great opportunity to continue to grow in the field of energy entrepreneurship and to learn from great people with tremendous experience—both within EnCap and among our clients.”

Good partners: “Looking ahead 30 years from now, I hope I will have formed a lot of meaningful relationships with people. I’d like to look back and think we were good partners to lots of people and had a lot of success together.”

A memorable deal: The Oasis IPO in 2010. The S-1 filing to the pricing was just more than three months. “A 48-million-share offering, with the overallotment. You learn a lot, going through a process that’s new; you’re learning every step of the way. And the success of Oasis has been meaningful to everyone involved.”