Lord Browne leaves Apax to head up Riverstone Europe

Energy specialist Riverstone Holdings has appointed Lord Browne of Madingley as head of its newly formed European arm, allowing the peer to return to the energy industry after his dramatic resignation from oil company BP.

Lord Browne of Madingley has headed back to an executive role at Riverstone Holdings. He is leaving Apax Partners due to time constraints after joining the firm in January this year.

Lord Browne will become managing director and managing partner of the newly formed entity Riverstone Europe. Riverstone will open an office in London where Browne will be based. Riverstone’s spokeswoman said this would open by the end of the year.

Lord Browne said in a statement: “This is an opportunity for me to return to the energy industry full-time, which will enable me to best apply my life-long skills and experience.”

David Leuschen and Pierre Lapeyre, co-founders of Riverstone Holdings, said in a statement: “He is a legend in the energy industry and we are very excited about him joining Riverstone. He is without question one of the most visionary, experienced and talented executives in the energy industry with an unparalleled global understanding.”

Apax Partners’ spokesman said: “He was committed to 50 percent of his time here and has headed to a full time position with Riverstone, so holding the two jobs was untenable”.

Apax will not be looking for a replacement in the short term or perhaps ever. “We didn’t have a chairman of the advisory board before Lord Browne and the position was created for him.” During his time at Apax Lord Browne was involved in corporate governance and public affairs. He helped advise the buyout firm on the Walker Report and took on a general political role. 

Lord Browne’s long and distinguished career in the energy industry was damaged by a high court judge’s ruling that he had lied in a legal case. He resigned from both his position as chief executive oil company BP and as board member at investment bank Goldman Sachs shortly after the ruling. Apax publicly backed Lord Browne.