Engineer Amin Nasser, the brains behind Aramco and its mega IPO

on Dec 5, 2019
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  • 60-year old petroleum engineer and Aramco President Amin Nasser oversee the world’s largest IPO.
  • Once the company goes public, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser will no longer have absolute control, reducing his position to a politically challenged one.
  • Decisions about Saudi Aramco's oil production lie in the hands of the crown prince and his half-brother, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

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The President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin Nasser slept a happy man after overseeing
the world’s largest Initial Public Offering. But above that, the listing has
placed him at the helm of the most profitable company globally. As soon
as the company’s shares start trading on the
Riyadh stock exchange in the course of the month, Mr. Nasser, who heads the
company will no longer have absolute control over it due to key political
figures’ interest including the crown prince and his half-brother, Energy
Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

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The company will be closing the year in style having survived one
of its most challenging years since it was founded nearly nine decades ago. Aramco’s
chief, who’s being seen by many as a skillful
survivor, is currently in his 60th year in the petroleum engineering
career.

The engineer
showcased his managerial dexterity on Sept. 14 when the company’s oil wells
were attacked, knocking out more than half of the state-owned firm’s oil
production. However, just under 11 days, the Nasser-led team resumed
operations.

Mr. Nasser was
also in charge of the company’s first bond
issue of $12 billion
and by the end of the issue, Aramco had received over 10
times more subscribers than anticipated.

From that April fundraiser,
Nasser earned the nickname “$100 billion man,” from a deal that saw Aramco
hit the capital markets headlines for the first time since Saudi’s 2018 ostracism
over the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a local columnist.

While the IPO has
been a hard sell to international investors, it has marked one of Nasser’s biggest
milestone in his decades of working at Aramco.

During
a Bloomberg TV interview, his counterpart at French oil major Total SA Mr. Patrick
Pouyanne said: “Amin is a very experienced CEO,” adding that, “There
is no precedent” for a deal like the Aramco IPO. We have never seen such a
huge company being listed.”

Saudi
Aramco’s stake in the global oil markets is undisputed: one out of every 10 barrels
in the market comes from the company’s reserves, making it the world’s most profitable
entity.

Now
that the firm’s IPO concluded yesterday, all eyes will be on the kingdom’s crown
prince as he will be making key decisions regarding productions, supply, among
others.

The crown prince
recently flexed his powers in the company when he appointed Yasir Al-Rumayyan
as Aramco’s chairman. Mr. Al-Rumayyan is seen as a pivotal figure in the
kingdom’s oil giant due to his role as the head of the sovereign wealth fund.

Saudi Aramco Stock Market