2014 Conference

May 2nd, 2014 | The University Club, ChicagoThe University of Chicago Booth School of Business

We are sold out of full-day conference tickets. Only tickets to the final keynote & reception remain. These are $20 each.

Thank you to our generous sponsors, including Exelon, BP, Energy Foundry, Marathon Capital, ChevronFMC Technologies and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, please contact the organizers for more information.

Platinum Sponsor:

Exelon Corp.

Gold Sponsors:

global-homepage-bp-logo-image           EnergyFoundry     marathon cap logo      CVX Gold

Silver Sponsors:



The past year has been a dynamic one for US energy markets.  US oil and gas markets boomed, solar expanded rapidly as wind grappled with waning tax credits, and the power sector continued to see coal’s market share decline at the expense of gas.  Join us for Chicago Booth’s Energy Forward 2014 conference as we examine the trends and opportunities that are defining the energy markets this year and beyond.

You’ll gain insights from industry leaders, network with investors and practitioners, and plant yourself firmly in the center of Chicago’s energy community.  Topics and questions addressed will include: the outlook for US oil markets and upstream activity, US energy exports, outlook for the US power sector, venture capital and private equity activity in energy, and innovative new energy business models.

Secure your tickets in advance to guarantee participation. See examples from last year and 2012 for what to expect, as well as some photos from the 2013 conference.


Friday, May 2, 2014
(Final schedule may change)

Conference to be held at the University Club, downtown Chicago. See the Location page for more information and logistics. Please note, the University Club enforces a business casual dress code for events held there.


We are proud to welcome numerous distinguished speakers at this year’s Energy Forward conference. The opening keynote will be given by George Bilicic from Lazard. He will speak on trends across energy and power markets.

  • LazardMr. Bilicic heads the Firm’s Midwest investment banking business and global efforts in power, energy and infrastructure. In addition, he serves as a member of the Firm’s Investment Banking Committee and Deputy Chairman Committee. Other than his time at KKR (for several months in 2008), Mr. Bilicic has been at Lazard since March 2002. Most recently, Mr. Bilicic has advised on the following matters, among others (client in parentheses): proposed sale of UNS Energy to Fortis (UNS Energy), strategic advisory in respect of First Solar (First Solar), sale of NV Energy to MidAmerican (NV Energy), sale of Ameren Energy Resources to Dynegy (Dynegy), strategic advisory in respect of Long Island Electric T&D System (New York State), sale of Equitable Gas and asset exchange with SteelRiver (EQT), sale of CH Energy to Fortis (CH Energy), sale of stake in Vespucio Norte Express to Brookfield (HOCHTIEF), Dynegy restructuring and strategic advisory (Dynegy), merger of Exelon and Constellation Energy (EDF), sale of Central Vermont Public Service to Gaz Métro (Central Vermont Public Service), sale of Landys + Gyr to Toshiba (Landys + Gyr), merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy (Progress Energy), merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR (Northeast Utilities), Solyndra restructuring (U.S. Department of Energy), potential sale of PGW (City of Philadelphia), resolution of joint venture and related matters between EDF and Constellation Energy (EDF), sale of the trading business of RBS/Sempra (RBS and Sempra), exchange offer by Exelon for NRG (Exelon), leveraged buy-out of TXU led by KKR and TPG (TXU), Duke Energy spin-off transaction (Duke), National Grid acquisition of KeySpan (KeySpan), PlaNYC (City of New York), Duke Energy merger with Cinergy (Duke) and various alternative energy financings.From May 2008 to October 2008, Mr. Bilicic served as a Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure at KKR. At KKR, Mr. Bilicic was responsible for initiating and leading KKR’s global infrastructure investing efforts and contributing to other areas, especially alternative energy and power. Previously, Mr. Bilicic had been a Partner in the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore from 1995. Mr. Bilicic left the Cravath partnership, effective January 2001, to begin his investment banking career at Merrill Lynch where he was a Managing Director in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department focused on power and energy clients.

The mid-point keynote will be given by Chris Gould, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Exelon.  He will discuss the role of nuclear power in the future of energy supply.

  • exelon logoIn his role as SVP, Corporate Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer, he is responsible for overall corporate strategic planning for the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, as well as the company’s corporate environmental efforts. Gould has been with the company since 1999, having previously served as Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Exelon 2020. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Corporate Planning, where he was responsible for Exelon’s planning and project evaluation functions, and as Director of Pricing and Structuring, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, and Manager of Market Planning at Exelon Power Team, in Kennett Square, Pa. Prior to joining Exelon, Gould was with Dames & Moore (URS Corporation) in Washington, D.C., serving in a variety of engineering and project management roles at the environmental and infrastructure professional services firm. He began his career at EA Engineering as a project engineer working on various federal, state and local government agency and public utility projects to protect and remediate the environment.

The final keynote address will be given by Rip Zinsmeister, Chicago Booth ’90. The topic of the speech will be “Energy Markets Through an M&A Lens.”

  • BPMr. Zinsmeister is BP PLC’s Chief Operating Officer for Mergers & Acquisitions with global coverage for Corporate, Refining and Marketing, and Alternative Energy. Rip has over 30 years’ experience in the Energy sector, the last 18 of which have been in M&A. He leads BP’s London M&A team who are responsible for delivering roughly half of BP’s $5-10 Billion annual M&A volume. Rip has managed transactions in all of BP’s principal businesses and deal types, including venture cap, joint venture formation and dissolution, public offerings, and the more typical private transactions. Rip’s notable transaction include the sale of BP’s petrochemical company, Innovene, in 2005 for $9 billion, the sales of the Texas City and Carson refineries in 2013 for $5 billion, and the largest sale in BP’s history, the sale of BP’s Russian oil business for $28 billion in 2013 to Rosneft and the contemporaneous acquisition of 18.75% of Rosneft equity by BP. Prior to his tenure in M&A, Rip was an Engineering Manager and CFO of Amoco’s E&P division in Denver Colorado.

Please see the Panels section below for breakout session speakers, including panelists from the following companies:

Anadarko Petroleum, A.T. Kearney, Baker Hughes, Barclays, BTG Pactual, Cheniere Energy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, EQT Midstream Partners, Exelon, Folsom Labs, Freepoint Commodities, Integrys Energy, Invenergy, Marathon Capital, McKinsey, SoCore Energy, and True North Venture Partners

Past participants include speakers from Tudor Pickering & Holt, First Wind, Exelon, Marathon Capital, Anadarko, Statoil, Pemex, Invenergy, SunEdison, BASF, ANCAP, DTE, FMC Technologies, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ICF International, Edison Mission Energy, HEVT, Clean Urban Energy, True North Venture Partners, Energy Foundry, Phoenician Resources, McNally Capital, Partners Group, Irradia Energia, Wells Fargo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,  McKinsey, Bain, BCG, A.T. Kearney, Deloitte, Ungaretti & Harris and Akin Gump.

Please see the lineup from 2013 and 2012 for representative speakers.


There will be four breakout panels, concentrating in the following areas:

Natural Gas Midstream & Markets: In Perspective, 10:30 – 11:30 AM

Fundamental changes upstream pose particular challenges to existing pipeline infrastructure and have impacted the way in which supply has traditionally flowed to end user markets. This panel will explore recent trends in midstream development and focus on the particular challenges mid-marketers and traders are experiencing in bringing natural gas supplies to market.  Beginning with a fundamentals based view, discussion will cover supply and demand side responses, market liquidity, asset contracting, and long term sector outlook.

The Shale Revolution and Beyond, 12:45 – 1:45 PM 

Shale oil and gas production has changed the US E&P landscape. But how sustainable is this “game-changer?” Can the short lifespan of a typical shale well be cured to escape the Red Queen effect? How is new technology affecting the business? Will Europe be able to develop its shale reserves in the near future? How are small-scale entrepreneurs attaining success in the shale boom? The panel will focus on the current state of shale oil and gas production, the durability of the industry, and the frontiers beyond.

Investing in Renewables, 12:45 – 1:45 PM

This panel will focus on challenges and strategies for investing in renewable energy, with an emphasis on new business models and technologies that reduce barriers to investing in innovative ways. Potential topics include securitization, crowd-funding, venture capital, yield-cos, tax equity issues, and MLP/REITs.

The Future of the Supply Stack
, 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Developments in renewable energy technologies, a sea change in market economics due to shale gas, and evolving regulatory policies have combined forces to create an unprecedented period of change in electricity markets. This panel will discuss the changes needed to integrate intermittent resources into a reliable grid, the market potential for complementary technologies such as battery storage, the role that energy policy at the state and federal plays in determining the future of electricity markets, and the effect these policies have on electricity prices for end-use customers.

For more information, please contact the organizers by emailing cochairs@boothenergy.org