Upstream Investment Staff

 
 

Upstream Investment Staff

Upstream Investment Staff

James S. Crain
Partner
Dallas
Bio
James S. Crain

James S. Crain

Partner

Mr. Crain is a Partner with EnCap Investments L.P., where he is actively involved in the origination and portfolio management of EnCap’s upstream investments. Prior to rejoining EnCap in 2012, Mr. Crain worked for Insight Equity, a turnaround and special situations private equity fund with approximately $1 billion under management. While at Insight, Mr. Crain co-led turnarounds for companies in the energy, infrastructure and recreational vehicle industries. Prior to Insight, Mr. Crain was an Associate at EnCap from 2004 to 2007.

Mr. Crain received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also received a BBA with highest honors from the Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Crain serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the advisory committees for the Petroleum Investment Funds at Stanford University and the Financial Analyst Program at the McCombs School of Business. He is a CFA charterholder.

Kyle M. Kafka
Partner
Houston
Bio
Kyle M. Kafka

Kyle M. Kafka

Partner

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2006, Mr. Kafka spent two years at First Albany Capital, where he worked in the Energy Investment Banking Group. Previously, Mr. Kafka spent a year at Amegy Bank of Texas, where he worked in the commercial banking department.

Mr. Kafka received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Kafka serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the American Petroleum Institute, the Houston Producers’ Forum, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Young Professionals in Energy.

M. Sean Smith
Partner
Houston
Bio
M. Sean Smith

M. Sean Smith

Partner

Prior to joining EnCap in 1990, Mr. Smith was a Vice President with the Corporate Banking Group of NCNB Texas Bank. Previously, he was a Senior Petroleum Engineer with Tenneco Oil Company for five years.

Mr. Smith received a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Houston and holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Mr. Smith serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a Board Member of the Texas A&M University Petroleum Engineering Industry Advisory Board.  Additionally, he is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Wynne M. Snoots
Partner
Houston
Bio
Wynne M. Snoots

Wynne M. Snoots

Partner

Prior to joining EnCap in January 2001, Mr. Snoots was one of three partners of Paradigm Development & Trade, Inc., a private company focused on generating and monetizing exploration prospects located along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

For the two years prior to his involvement in Paradigm, Mr. Snoots served as President of Magellan Exploration, LLC, a private portfolio company. He previously spent seven years with Enron Capital & Trade Resources in the Producer Finance Group, most recently as a Vice President.

Mr. Snoots began his career as a petroleum engineer with Texas Oil and Gas Corporation. He received a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Mr. Snoots serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Houston Producers' Forum.

Brad A. Thielemann
Partner
Houston
Bio
Brad A. Thielemann

Brad A. Thielemann

Partner

Prior to rejoining EnCap in September 2006, Mr. Thielemann worked in the Investor Relations and Strategic Planning Groups at Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. Previously, he was an Associate at EnCap from 2000 to 2003 and a Treasury Analyst at Dynegy.

Mr. Thielemann received a Master of Business Administration from Duke University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Thielemann serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Mark A. Welsh IV
Partner
Dallas
Bio
Mark A. Welsh IV

Mark A. Welsh IV

Partner

Mr. Welsh is a Partner with EnCap Investments L.P., and has been with the firm since 2006. During his time at EnCap he has been involved with upstream investments in most of the major producing basins in the United States and Canada. Prior to EnCap, Mr. Welsh spent four years as a Vice President of Adam Corporation, a privately owned investment firm. He started his career with The Blackstone Group LP as a financial analyst. Mr. Welsh holds a BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University, where he received the Brown-Rudder outstanding graduate award. He currently serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies.

Mark Burroughs, Jr.
Managing Director
Houston
Bio
Mark Burroughs, Jr.

Mark Burroughs, Jr.

Managing Director

Prior to joining EnCap in March 2007, Mr. Burroughs spent four years working in UBS Investment Bank’s Global Energy Group. While at UBS, Mr. Burroughs worked on over 20 capital markets transactions raising over $11 billion in capital and worked on several M&A advisory assignments. Prior to joining UBS Investment Bank, Mr. Burroughs spent three years at Sanders Morris Harris, Inc., an investment banking firm in Houston.

He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Burroughs serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of both the Broach Foundation For Brain Cancer Research and the Small Steps Nurturing Center. 

Ryan P. Devlin
Managing Director
Houston
Bio
Ryan P. Devlin

Ryan P. Devlin

Managing Director

Prior to joining EnCap in August 2005, Mr. Devlin spent two years at Amegy Bank of Texas, where he ended as a Banking Officer for its commercial banking department.

Mr. Devlin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from Brown University.

Mr. Devlin serves on the board of directors of several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Young Professionals in Energy.

Jerry Smith
Managing Director
Houston
Bio
Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith

Managing Director

Mr. Smith is a Managing Director with EnCap Investments L.P., where he leads engineering and geoscience efforts across the firm. Prior to joining EnCap, Mr. Smith was a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Evercore’s Acquisitions and Divestitures (A&D) practice. For over four years at Evercore, he led a technical team that advised on dozens of energy transactions totaling over $50 billion. Mr. Smith began his career with ExxonMobil’s U.S. West division in 2002, where he spent five years leading a variety of conventional and unconventional oil and gas development programs across major U.S. basins. In 2007, Mr. Smith joined Citation Oil & Gas, a large private E&P company, where he coordinated all of the firm’s A&D and reserves efforts until leaving in 2010 to join Scotia Waterous as an Associate Director.

Mr. Smith graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Tennessee in 2002 and also received his MBA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008.

Luke Brandenberg
Director
Dallas
Bio
Luke Brandenberg

Luke Brandenberg

Director

Prior to joining EnCap in August 2010, Mr. Brandenberg spent three years working in the Energy Investment Banking Group at Raymond James & Associates, where he focused on public capital raises, restructuring and M&A advisory work within the upstream, midstream and oilfield service sectors.  

Mr. Brandenberg holds Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in Business Honors and Finance from The University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with honors.  He currently sits on the board of several EnCap portfolio companies as well as the Dallas Petroleum Club Junior Member Committee.  In addition, Mr. Brandenberg is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the ADAM Energy Forum and Young Professionals in Energy.

Brooks Despot
Director
Houston
Bio
Brooks Despot

Brooks Despot

Director

Brooks Despot rejoined the investment staff at EnCap in September 2014. Previously, Mr. Despot was the VP-Finance and CFO of Escondido Resources II, an EnCap-backed portfolio company. During his time at Escondido II, Mr. Despot played an integral role in the strategic merger of Escondido II with another EnCap-backed portfolio company. Prior to Escondido II, Mr. Despot was an Associate at EnCap from 2009 to 2013.

Mr. Despot holds a Master of Business Administration in Corporate Finance from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Louisiana State University, where he graduated Cum Laude. 

Mr. Despot serves on the board of directors for several EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In addition, he serves on the board of directors for Small Steps Nurturing Center, a nonprofit organization providing education to at-risk children in Houston, and The Children’s Fund, an organization dedicated to helping early-stage charities fulfill their mission to provide critical services to disadvantaged children across the greater Houston area.
Mitchell D. Hovendick
Director
Houston
Bio
Mitchell D. Hovendick

Mitchell D. Hovendick

Director

Prior to joining EnCap in 1997, Mr. Hovendick spent 15 years as a Petroleum Engineer with Phillips Petroleum Company, where he worked primarily as a reservoir engineer in almost all major basins of the U.S.

Mr. Hovendick received a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Rice University and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

He is a registered professional petroleum engineer and is a member (and author) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Houston Producers’ Forum and Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Taylor McCay
Vice President
Houston
Bio
Taylor McCay

Taylor McCay

Vice President

Mr. McCay has more than 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working primarily as a Petroleum Geologist.  Most recently, he worked as a Senior Geologist responsible for the drilling, management and development of assets in the Mid-Continent for Gastar Exploration, Inc.  Prior to Gastar Exploration, Inc. Mr. McCay worked at Drillinginfo Inc. from 2007-2011 and worked as a geologist at Krescent Energy, LLC and ASRC Energy Services.  

Mr. McCay graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  During his time at UNC, he competed on the wrestling team. 

He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. 

Stephen Meek
Vice President
Dallas
Bio
Stephen Meek

Stephen Meek

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in August 2014, Mr. Meek spent two years working in the Global Energy Investment Banking Group at Citigroup in Houston, where he focused on M&A advisory work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Meek graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University, where he received a B.B.A. in Finance with a specialization in Alternative Asset Management from the Cox School of Business and a B.S. in Management Science from the Lyle School of Engineering. He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Young Professionals in Finance and Young Professionals in Energy.

Meg Murphy
Vice President
Houston
Bio
Meg Murphy

Meg Murphy

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in August 2014, Ms. Murphy spent two years working in the Global Energy Investment Banking Group at Citigroup in Houston, where she focused on M&A advisory work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Ms. Murphy graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. She is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Small Steps Young Professionals, Young Professionals in Energy and the Houston Producers’ Forum.

George W. Purgason
Vice President
Houston
Bio
George W. Purgason

George W. Purgason

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2012, Mr. Purgason spent three years at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. While at Anadarko, Mr. Purgason worked in multiple U.S. basins as a Production Engineer and most recently as a Reservoir Engineer.

Mr. Purgason holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration from Rice University.

Mr. Purgason is a member of the Houston Producers Forum, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Jack Reilly
Vice President
Dallas
Bio
Jack Reilly

Jack Reilly

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in August 2012, Mr. Reilly spent two years working in the Energy Investment Banking Group at Evercore Partners, where he focused on restructuring and M&A advisory work in the energy industry. Prior to joining Evercore, Mr. Reilly worked for Ernst & Young, LLP in its Transaction Advisory Services group, where he focused on energy M&A. Mr. Reilly graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, where he received an M.S. in Finance and a B.B.A. in Accounting. Mr. Reilly is a CFA charterholder, a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Young Professionals in Finance and Young Professionals in Energy.

Ryan Smith
Vice President
Dallas
Bio
Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2015, Mr. Smith spent two years working in the Corporate Finance Group at Simmons & Co. in Houston, where he focused on M&A advisory work and public and private capital raises within the energy industry. Prior to joining Simmons, Mr. Smith worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in New York, where he focused on structured financings across a variety of industries.  

Mr. Smith graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University, where he received a M.S. in Finance and a B.B.A. in Accounting. He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Young Professionals in Energy and Young Professionals in Finance.

Bryan Stahl
Vice President
Houston
Bio
Bryan Stahl

Bryan Stahl

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2012, Mr. Stahl spent three years between the Global Energy Investment Banking Groups at Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank, where he focused on public capital raises and M&A advisory work within the energy industry.

Mr. Stahl holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Management from the McIntire School at the University of Virginia. During his time at Virginia, he was an All-American swimmer and competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. He is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Drew Wellsfry
Vice President
Dallas
Bio
Drew Wellsfry

Drew Wellsfry

Vice President

Prior to joining EnCap in April 2016, Mr. Wellsfry spent three years at Matador Resources as a Reservoir Engineer with a focus on the Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Delaware Basin. Most recently, he was the team lead of the Permian Texas – Delaware Basin asset, where he focused on development plans, annual budgeting and A&D. He began his career at Samson Resources, where he focused on operations, completions and exploration development.

Mr. Wellsfry holds a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University as well as a Bachelor of Business in finance and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Connor Anderson
Associate
Dallas
Bio
Connor Anderson

Connor Anderson

Associate

Prior to joining EnCap in May 2019, Mr. Anderson spent one year at Scotiabank and two years at Deutsche Bank working in their Investment Banking divisions in Houston, where he focused on acquisition and divestiture work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Anderson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The McCombs School of Business. He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Young Professionals in Energy and Young Professionals in Finance.

Evan Clayton
Associate
Dallas
Bio
Evan Clayton

Evan Clayton

Associate

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2017, Mr. Clayton spent three years working in the Investment Banking division at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. in Houston, where he focused on M&A advisory work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Clayton graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Young Professionals in Energy and Young Professionals in Finance.

Michael Guenther
Associate
Houston
Bio
Michael Guenther

Michael Guenther

Associate

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2019, Mr. Guenther spent two years working in the Global Energy Investment Banking Group at Citigroup in Houston, where he focused on M&A advisory work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Guenther began his career as a petroleum engineer with Southwestern Energy. He received a Master of Energy Economics from Rice University and holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Charlie Knapp
Associate
Houston
Bio
Charlie Knapp

Charlie Knapp

Associate

Charlie Knapp joined EnCap in September 2017. He spent the first five years of his career with Marathon Oil Company, where in a variety of engineering roles he developed a thorough understanding of the operational and technical aspects of the business. Most recently, Mr. Knapp was a Reservoir Engineer focused on delineating and developing Marathon’s STACK acreage. He began his career as a Production Engineer in East Texas and North Louisiana, and he later worked as a Completions Engineer targeting multiple formations across the SCOOP and STACK areas of the Anadarko Basin.

Mr. Knapp graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Connor Michelsen
Associate
Houston
Bio
Connor Michelsen

Connor Michelsen

Associate

Prior to joining EnCap in June 2018, Connor Michelsen spent two years working in the Energy Investment Banking Group at Jefferies in Houston, where he focused on acquisition and divestiture work and private capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Michelsen graduated from Princeton University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Young Professionals in Finance.

 

Carson Pfluger
Associate
Houston
Bio

Carson Pfluger

Associate

Prior to joining EnCap in July 2017, Mr. Pfluger spent three years working in the Energy Investment Banking Group at Wells Fargo in Houston, where he focused on Acquisition & Divestiture work and public capital raises within the energy industry.

Mr. Pfluger graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Texas A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He is a member of the Houston Producers’ Forum, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Young Professionals in Finance.