Executive Interviews

Bob Orr, Senior Partner, Oliver Wyman

23 March 2016


Bob, many thanks for joining us today, for our readers who might be unaware of all that Oliver Wyman does, can you give us a brief overview of its work?

Oliver Wyman is a global management consulting firm and part of the MMC family of professional services companies including Marsh, Mercer, and Guy Carpenter. We work with clients across industries and geographies on their hardest business issues including strategy development and execution, risk management, organization structure and effectiveness, M&A (including partnering and joint ventures), and operations and supply chain improvement and efficiency.


Can you also provide an insight into your role at Oliver Wyman?

I lead Oliver Wyman’s Houston office and am a senior partner within our Oil and Gas/Energy practice. I also lead OW’s efforts in energy in Mexico. I work with clients mostly in North America on issues of upstream, midstream and downstream fuel strategy, organization and operations. During the past few years, I am spending increasing time working on Mexico energy issues for a range of clients.


In your opinion, what are the key trends in the Mexican oil and gas industry in 2016? How do you feel the strategic focus changed since 2014-15?

In 2016, the clear trend is the increasing level of seriousness and commitment to reform by the Mexico government as evidenced by their actions to speed up certain areas of reforms to attract foreign market participation and investment. For example, the date to open the market to fuel imports by foreign companies was just moved up from January of 2017 to April of this year. I believe this move was intended to send the market a signal that speed of reforms will increase. 


What about specific focus of Oliver Wyman? What are your top 3 priorities in 2016?

Our main areas of focus are: 1) helping upstream companies adapt their operating models to lower and more flexible cost positions; 2) helping downstream companies take advantage of a good fuels market right now to pursue market growth and secure volume outlets; 3) helping energy and energy services investors sort through the best opportunities to enter markets and acquire platform/growth companies; 4) helping a range of companies consider their entry/growth strategies in Mexico and what their operating models - including partnerships/ventures - should look like. 


What types of challenges do your clients come for you to solve?

Our clients come to us with issues on:
-  Strategy, including market entry, growth strategy, asset portfolio strategy and brand strategy
- Risk management, both evaluating company and project risk and as well as putting in place better and more robust risk management processes and tools
- Organization structure and improving organization effectiveness. This also including help forming ventures and partnerships
- Operations improvement including putting in place more flexible operating models, improving their cost management and cost position, and streamlining supply chains

We approach these issues starting with a deep level of specific industry expertise so we can be both creative and practical.


If you could wave a magic wand over the industry, what kind of ‘business innovation’ would you like to implement?

First, I would consider to break-up some of the larger and integrated companies and create more medium –to-large sized, but fully scaled, flexible companies with greater focus. I believe that would drive greater industry value, progress and innovations in business models. Second, this cycle has shown that many industry players are not as effective as they need to be at managing their risks. In the coming era, I believe that being better at risk management on thinner margins will be a critical and differentiating capability to create superior returns to capital.


You will be joining us at our Mexico Assembly in 2016, what’s the one question you’d love to ask your fellow executive panelists?

How do you see your company influencing the evolution and shape of Mexico’s oil and energy industry over the next five to ten years?

United Kingdom

T: +44 20 7384 8056
Bedford House
69-71 Fulham High Street
London
SW6 3JW

Singapore

T: +65 6590 3978
78 Shenton Way
#20-03
Singapore
079120

Houston - USA

T: +1 713 353 4633
Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith Street, Floor 16, Suite 6061

Houston, TX, 77002

USA

Lagos - Nigeria

T: +44 787 550 6366
No. 92 Oduduwa Crescent,
G.R.A., Ikeja
Lagos State
Nigeria
 
 

South Africa

+27 21 001 3884
Great Westerford
Corner Main Rd & Dean Street
Newlands 7700
Cape Town