Serica Energy (LON:SQZ) has announced a new chief financial officer will take up his post in the new year, after current CFO Andy Bell confirmed his intention to step down.
He will be succeeded by Martin Copeland, who joins from his current role as principal at energy advisory firm Kirk Lovegrove & Co.
Mr Copeland has worked in oil and gas financing and advisory roles across a number of investment banks for more than 30 years.
Some of his recent North Sea experience includes advising Premier Oil on its reverse takeover by Chrysaor – a deal which created the basin’s largest producer, Harbour Energy – as well as advisory work for JX Nippon on the sale of its UKCS business to Neo Energy, and Tailwind Energy on their sale to Serica.
Serica chairman David Latin commented: “Following a very thorough recruitment process, the Serica board is delighted to announce that Andy’s successor as chief financial officer and Executive board member will be Martin Copeland.
“Martin will join Serica in the New Year at which point he will succeed Andy as CFO. Andy will remain with the company to effect a smooth transition. The board is very grateful to Andy Bell for his many years of service to the company and our sector.”
Mr Bell has worked with Serica since 2004 on financial controls and supporting acquisitions, disposals and financing, and was later appointed VP Finance when the firm took over the Bruce, Keith and Rhum assets in 2017.
Chief executive Mitch Flegg added: “Firstly, I want to pay tribute to Andy’s achievements in the nearly 20 years he has been with Serica, initially as a Consultant and, since the signature of the Bruce, Keith and Rhum acquisitions, as VP Finance and then CFO.
“I would especially like to thank him for the unstinting support and sage advice he has given me personally since I became CEO in 2017.”
Mr Flegg also extended gratitude for Mr Bell’s role in integrating the finance functions of the two companies following Serica’s acquisition of Tailwind.
“In Martin, we have secured a hugely capable successor to Andy who is well known to many of us from his years as an advisor.
“With his banking industry and advisory experience, Martin brings the full range of financial capabilities and relevant market knowledge to help Serica navigate the challenges of the capital markets and to deliver on our strategy designed to create value for our shareholders.”
Serica reported a jump in profits in its most recent half-year results following its takeover of Tailwind earlier this year, but took aim at the “wholly unwelcome burden” of the energy profits levy (EPL) and its impact on the sector.
As a result, Mr Flegg suggested the company is looking increasingly outwith the North Sea as part of its M&A activity.