There's no better Hollywood story than a second act for a convicted fraudster - and only time will tell whether or not it'll be a true redemption story or yet another episode of American Greed.
But it appears you "can't keep a good man down" - as former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling moves forward with what Reuters is calling his "stealth energy investment venture" by staffing it with former McKinsey & Co. consultants. Slide decks incoming...
Skilling himself was a former consultant for McKinsey and specialized in natural gas marketing and financing for Enron.
He aims to bring a "technology edge" to oil & gas returns, the report notes. (Whatever that means). His new venture, called Veld LLC, has been "set up as a digital marketplace to sell packages of oil and gas production to investors".
Veld supposedly is bringing to the table "analytical software that investors can use to evaluate packages for their potential returns". There's been no word as to whether or not the software can analyze off-balance sheet arrangements for any of its prospective investments.
Ron Hulme, formerly of a 26 year tenure at McKinsey, joined as the company's Chairman. Taek Chung is listed as a managing director for Veld Applied Analytics.
Ed Hirs, an Energy Fellow and lecturer at the University of Houston, hilariously commented that Skilling's reputation "should not have a significant impact" on its ability to generate business. Hirs told Reuters: "I don't see it as a positive or negative. To succeed, they have to compete with the established firms in the business."
We reported back in 2019 that Skilling had already landed an investment from former Enron executive and local strip club rewards member Lou Pai who, after selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Enron stock before the company collapsed, somehow avoided jail time or any kind of major legal repercussions, outside of a paltry $31.5 million settlement.
The former Enron executive is situated in a new office in Houston and nondisclosure agreements have been signed between him and potential partners in his new project. Skilling is said to have began working on his new project while serving six months at a Texas halfway house, before being set free again.
He had met with more than two dozen former Enron executives, we noted in 2019, while preparing for the project. We noted then that as part of a judgement with the SEC, Skilling is permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company. Pai, who was referred to as "the invisible CEO" in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room has no such bar.