First Reserve Prez Steps Down

First Reserve president Ben Guill has resigned, peHUB has learned. The move takes effect in April, and comes just seven months after First Reserve closed its eleventh energy-focused fund with $7.8 billion. No successor has been named.

“It was really quite stunning to hear,” said one limited partner in the new First Reserve fund. “He’s leaving a lot of money on the table.”

Another LP wasn’t quite so surprised, however, saying that Guill’s status had been an issue of concern during fundraising: “It was clear to us during fundraising that Guill wasn’t the heir apparent he once was, but we were told that he wasn’t going to leave… So we’re disappointed but not surprised by this, and now kind of think that those assurances were a bit disingenuous.”

A firm spokeswoman says that Guill left to “explore personal interests and to pursue new opportunities.” It is not believed that he has yet accepted a position elsewhere.

Guill’s departure leaves a big void at First Reserve, where he was considered second in command to chairman and CEO Bill Macauly. The only other member of the firm’s executive committee is vice chairman John Hill, who is referred to as “largely retired” on the First Reserve website.

Prior to joining First Reserve in 1998, Guill was a managing director and co-head of investment banking with energy services-focused Simmons & Co. While at Simmons, he worked with several First Reserve portfolio companies and, since then, has sat on the boards of five of the world’s 50 largest oilfield services companies.