Business Essentials for Professionals

Julien Balkany, an energy entrepreneur firmly based in London


At 38 years old, Julien Balkany has made a name for himself on the other side of the Atlantic. He has been managing the natural resources investment fund Nanes Balkany Partners that he co-founded a decade ago, concomitantly he is the chairman of the board of Norwegian oil and gas company Panoro Energy (unanimously re-elected in May 2019) and is one of the most internationally influential French entrepreneurs.

Julien Balkany began his career with a New York-based global investment bank as an analyst specialising in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. Oil and gas became his area of expertise and New York became his second home before he settled in London. After having served as managing director of financial advisory firm Nanes Delorme Capital Management LLC, in 2008 he co-founded private investment company Nanes Balkany Partners with US financier Daryl Nanes, quickly earning himself the reputation of being an activist investor focused on the oil and gas industry. The fund primarily  pursues investment in junior oil companies , such as Vaalco Energy, Petrogrand and Toreador Resources Corporation, of which Julien Balkany became non-executive vice-chairman in 2009 until 2011. He is also a member of the board of Amromco, the third largest gas producer in Romania.

Strategic holdings in the oil and gas sector

Julien Balkany ran for office and was a candidate in the 2012 French legislative elections, in the First constituency for French residents overseas (French citizens living in Canada and the US). After his defeat he then decided to focus entirely on his entrepreneurial career. In 2014, he joined the board of directors of Canadian oil and gas services company GasFrac Energy Services, which developed alternative environmentally friendly waterless fracking technology. He remained on the board until the company was acquired by Calfrac Well Services one year later.
In the same year, Julien Balkany was elected chairman of the board of Panoro Energy, a Norwegian oil and gas exploration and production company. Operating in Gabon and Nigeria, in 2018 Panoro Energy acquired two Tunisia-based companies. The first was Norwegian company DNO Tunisia AS, and the second was Austrian company OMV Tunisia Upstream GmbH. Indoing so, it expanded its development area to include five new concessions and an exploration permit, all adjacent and located in the Gulf of Sfax in Tunisia. Very recently, in August 2019, Panoro Energy announced its renewed intention to focus part of its capital investments in Gabon, where the group has recently kicked-off a busy six- to eight-wells drilling campaign in 2019 and 2020. A strategic investment for the Norwegian company which is leveraging the low producing costs so as to develop its projects locally. From 2015 to 2016, Julien Balkany also served as non-executive director of another Scandinavian company – Norwegian Energy Company (Noreco) – which holds several oil and gas concessions in the British and Norwegian North Sea, the Barents Sea and in various Danish territorial waters. Since 2018, he has also been on the board of Amromco Energy, Romania's third largest independent private gas producer.

Julien Balkany, among the rising stars of New York's hedge fund industry
Following his success heading up Nanes Balkany Partners, Julien Balkany quickly established himself as an entrepreneur on-the-make in New York. In 2008, he was ranked number one on American magazine Trader Monthly’s annual list of the world's top traders and hedge fund managers. In 2010, he received a hedge fund rising star award from New York-based monthly Institutional Investor Magazine. Growing recognition which has established Julien Balkany as one of the most influential French entrepreneurs at international level and an acknowledged expert in the oil sector.