Lazard Expands Oil and Gas Advisory With Deutsche Bank Hires

(Bloomberg) -- Lazard Ltd., the independent investment bank, has hired two oil and gas bankers from Deutsche Bank AG for its energy advisory practice.

Mark Sooby and Harris Ghozali will join Lazard’s Houston office as managing directors on July 2, Lazard said in a statement Monday. They will help the New York-based bank advise oil and gas explorers on acquisitions and divestitures of swathes of drilling real estate.

They come to Lazard following Deutsche Bank’s announcement in May that it was closing its Houston office and cutting the bulk of its energy advisory practice in the U.S. The Frankfurt-based lender is seeking to sell a portfolio of energy loans with a face value of $3 billion to other banks, people familiar with the matter said last week. A representative for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

“Mark and Harris bring deep expertise and extensive relationships in the energy industry around the world,” Matt Lustig, Lazard’s head of North American investment banking, said in a statement. “They will be strong additions to Lazard’s global oil and gas team at a time when we are increasingly active advising energy companies on their most important strategic and financial matters.”

Sooby joined Deutsche Bank last year from Bank of America Corp., where he had been responsible for energy acquisitions and divestitures since 2006, according to the statement. Prior to that, he had worked at Petrie Parkman & Co., which Bank of America predecessor Merrill Lynch bought in 2006.

Ghozali had also joined Deutsche Bank last year from Bank of America. He started at Bank of America in 2011 and prior to that had spent 14 years at Ryder Scott Co., an oil and gas reservoir consultancy firm. He started his career as a petroleum engineer at Exxon Mobil Corp., according to the statement.

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