Banker's Talk

A few years ago I was advising a start-up exploration company, and we went to a meeting with our financiers in London.

A start-up is a very different thing from an established oil and gas company, not least because it has to raise finance and lives entirely on the whim of its backers.

Our banker was a man in his fifties, an old city hand, self-assured, arrogant and obese. He leant across the table in shirtsleeves, braces and striped trousers, and told us of his plans to secure funding.

He intended to pitch this to a rich American investor living in London, a “close friend” of his. They were members of the same shooting syndicate. The next Saturday he had been invited to his friend’s sixtieth birthday party, and intended to speak to him then.

“Once I have fucked him up the arse,” he continued, “he will not know which way is up. By the time I have finished he will be in for twenty or thirty million dollars.”

This was not of course what he intended to do to the investor at the party. It was just macho talk, designed to impress with his connections, force of character and fund-raising prowess.

Nevertheless it takes the prize as the most repulsive thing I ever heard in a thirty-year career, showing nothing but contempt for the investor, his so-called friend.


Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.