Polaris Energy Capital has been “just me and a partner,” Mike Chiste said, noting it has aligned with exceptional individuals, management teams and companies, most recently acquiring assets in the Texas Panhandle. The company’s small size is one way it’s different, but Polaris also differentiates itself from other capital backers by not participating in auctions and sourcing its own opportunities.
Polaris steers toward conventional, low-cost, shallow oil and gas in North Texas and East Texas, and some areas in the Permian Basin and Oklahoma.
Through its extensive network that includes relationships with more traditional backers, “a lot of people come to us to find capital for their project or company. We’ve probably closed about 100 transactions raising money for other companies and management teams. They tend to view us as someone that can understand their situation and identify the right capital for it. There’s a proprietary deal flow where we’re the first call for people looking for capital.”
Career path: From 2000 to 2006, he worked at Accenture LLP, first as an analyst and finally as a manager. At Energy Capital Solutions LLC from 2006 to 2009 in Dallas, he worked his way from analyst to vice president. From 2009 onward, he has been a founder, investor and/or director of seven oil and gas service and midstream companies; for the same time frame, he has been co-founder and managing director of boutique oil and gas advisory firm CC Natural Resource Partners LLC.
On industry: Chiste said, “The oil and gas industry is a land of opportunity. It always has been. We have been able to find opportunities in the industry and capitalize on them, whether in the midstream, services or upstream areas of the business. The oilfield can be old school. I leverage my management consulting background with strategy, best practices, technology and change management to streamline operations, make changes within an organization and ultimately to improve the bottom line.”