Energy Team

Rob Gerhard – Group Chief Executive
Rob, a founder of Umbono, is a chartered accountant (SA), a CFA charterholder, and holds an MSc (Chemical Engineering) degree, He has 23 years experience in finance, strategy and investment banking. Rob led the Umbono team in building a significant natural resources investment portfolio – mining and energy assets – from a negligible starting capital base in 2003. Rob serves as Chief Investment Officer of the Umbono group with a particular focus on oil and gas investments in North America, and has active leadership of Umbono’s oil and gas portfolio operations

Rob Symons – Chief Financial Officer Oil and Gas
Rob is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and manages the accounting and finance departments of Umbono’s North American companies. Rob has wide experience in the field of finance, ranging from investment banking functions with Umbono to directing economic development programs in third world countries with an international aid organization

Bob Van Hoy – VP Production and Engineering
Bob holds a BSc (Electrical Engineering) from Purdue University. He has extensive experience in oil and gas production management and project development. Previously a facility engineer for EP Energy he was responsible for the design and construction of common point facilities, pipelines, and well-site production equipment. He has provided engineering and management expertise in the Eagle Ford Shale and the New Albany Shale developments. The latter has production characteristics similar to the Michigan Antrim Shale

Steve Harrigan – VP Exploration and Projects
Steve has 38 years’ experience in the US oil and gas industry in general and 29 years’ experience in the Michigan basin specifically. Steve has overseen the drilling and completion of hundreds of gas and oil wells and their management and supervision of construction, production, work-overs and well servicing with companies including Shell, Unocal, Samson, Amoco, Sun/Oryx, Coastal, Aurora, PetroStar/Howard, Merit Energy, Encore, ElPaso-ANR, Cimarex Energy, West Bay and Encana Naturall Gas. Steve currently manages all of Umbono day-to-day drilling and completion operations in the US with emphasis on shale gas plays in Michigan and Indiana

Steve Zdan – VP Business Development and Geologist
Steve holds BSc and MSc degrees in Geology, and a BA degree in Anthropology, with research focused on sandstone reservoir quality. Steve’s professional track has included wellsite operations in the Williston Basin, field development of channel sands offshore Equatorial Guinea with Noble Energy, field development and well design in the New Albany Shale, and oil and gas exploration in the Michigan and Illinois Basins. Steve manages Umbono’s energy business development and serves as Umbono’s chief geologist in evaluation of oil and gas investment opportunities in North America and Africa

John Hunter – Senior Petroleum Engineer
John has a BS (Honors) Petroleum Engineering degree and is a registered professional engineer with 42 years of experience in the oil industry. He has worked with Amoco and various other E&P and service companies. His experience ranges across a variety of oilfield activities including management of EOR projects, reservoir engineering, managing production and processing operations, exploration management and acquisitions and divestiture activities. He has particular experience in Umbono’s New Albany Shale play and the Michigan Antrim play

Jonathan Spencer – Consultant
Jonathan focuses on business development, transaction structuring, investment evaluation and natural gas marketing and hedging for Umbono. He has been involved in the start–up of several E&P entities, and has worked on specialty metals and energy opportunities in Africa, Europe and North America. Jonathan holds a BCom in Investment Management from the University of Pretoria, South Africa

Byron van der Walt – Operations and Projects Manager
Byron is a registered Professional Natural Scientist (SA) holding an MSc Geology and a BSc Chemistry & Mathematics, in addition to professional memberships with the Geological Society (SA) the Society of Economic Geologists (US). Byron has experience in the management natural resources projects, including oil and gas, coal-bed methane, coal, gold, nickel and platinum-group metal projects. He currently serves in the management of Umbono’s oil and gas investments in the US with operations, exploration and acquisitions related-projects

Dr. Krzystoff Mastalerz – Senior Geologist
Dr. Krzystof holds a PhD Geology and has 33 years of international experience in exploration and consulting geology, and academic research. He has held directorships at a number of mineral exploration and resource companies and participates actively in the geologic evaluation of hydrocarbon prospects for Umbono and exploration/acquisition strategies. He provides Umbono with expertise in sequence stratigraphy, detailed core logging, well log and facies interpretation, data integration, basin modelling, and identification of hydrocarbon traps