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January 9, 2012 
Sutherland LTIle

With drilling activity on the rise, more senior level energy execs felt more secure with their retirement portfolios in 2011 and retired. (Evidenced by the fact that we cannot get a tee time.) And The Alexander Group managing director Jane Howze tells us there will be major movement in 2012.

We stopped by Jane’s office in the Galleria area last week to find out what's happening in the senior level job market. The international firm she founded in 1983 searches for execs who command salaries of $200,000 or more. Jane says in 2008, a lot of people in their late 50s were considering retiring but deferred because their portfolios had taken a beating. But last year's increased confidence in the economy allowed the retirement wave to begin, which has resulted in a high demand for managers in the second third of their career (think ages 37 to 52) to replace the roles of the retirees.

Sutherland Mini
Research director Katy Caudle told us energy companies are going to feel the pressure to compensate these new leaders because it will be a job-candidate market. Among those sought after are business development execs, high-level engineers, and communications and financial experts. She says as companies expand operations around the globe, they'll need people with international experience (retired spies?) and these execs will have the biggest edge and most career choices. International companies like Sinopec and Total are jumping on the North America shale bandwagon and are opening or expanding offices in Houston. The want people with experience in the major plays.
Jane says it’s harder to replace a retiree who has been with a company a long time because that employee is part of the fabric. The larger companies have a pool of people they have groomed for years who are prepared to fill major roles. Mid to smaller companies have to plan for the retirement of a key employee. Because of the shakiness from the recession, older execs are looking for stability. Instead of bonuses and stock options, higher base salaries are more attractive to middle-aged execs, who also are less enthusiastic about relocating. Because the energy industry is subject to rapid change, upper-level execs are asking for more guarantees and contracts to ensure compensation.

Helmets to Hardhats assists veterans in finding work as they return to civilian life. TransCanada is committing $1M over the next five years to the program, with support from Veterans Affairs Canada and Canada’s Building Trades Union. TransCanada has been working with CBTU for decades to build energy infrastructure. TransCanada is completing the remaining half of a $22B capital program and with that comes a need for a trained, specialized, and competent workforce. Veterans will be able to access career or apprenticeship info either by phone or through a dedicated website launching early this year.

As presidential campaigns trudge on, the American Petroleum Institute has launched a “Vote4Energy” campaign to inspire voters to keep energy top of mind when considering the candidates. CEO Jack Gerard announced the campaign last week in an effort to get US energy policy on the right track. In his address at the Newseum in DC, Jack said, “we must engage the American people on these issues and make energy an important part of our national debate this year." API supports policies that can keep millions of Americans at work and generate a million new jobs in the near-term, produce billions of dollars in additional government revenue, and improve US energy security. To see his address, click here.
How ‘bout them Texans? It was sweet for this city to get its first NFL playoff victory in 21 years. What is your company doing to get fired up for Sunday’s divisional game against Baltimore? Email greg.miller@bisnow.com.
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