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Jan 13, 2021

RBC reorganizes Europe energy banking team amid renewable shift

Ryan Bushell discusses Canadian banks


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Royal Bank of Canada is reorganizing its team of European energy dealmakers as traditional oil companies increasingly focus on reducing carbon emissions.

Matthew Coakes, who has spent more than a decade at the bank, has been appointed head of energy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. He replaces Martin Copeland, who left the firm to join energy boutique Kirk Lovegrove & Co.

Coakes will lead the firm’s European energy transition initiative along with Ralph Ibendahl, head of renewables coverage in the region, the memo shows. The bank is seeking to tap its relationships with oil and gas companies as they plan investments in low-carbon infrastructure and new renewable technologies.

European energy producers are moving away from the supermajor model, with BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney pledging to shrink the company’s oil and gas output by 40 per cent over the next decade. He’s also planning to spend as much as US$5 billion a year to create one of the world’s biggest renewable businesses.

RBC’s oil and gas sector bankers will move under the infrastructure team as part of the changes, according to the memo. Robert Kordas, who heads U.S. oilfield services coverage, will assume responsibility for European clients.

The bank is also appointing Kenneth Koon to oversee midstream infrastructure coverage, the memo shows. A spokesperson for RBC confirmed the contents of the memo.

RBC advised on the reverse takeover of independent explorer Premier Oil Plc by Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. last year. It also worked with Eni SpA when it recently bought a portion of a giant wind farm project off the east coast of the U.K.