Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Louisiana energy services firm Bernhard names new CEO

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Bernhard, a Metairie-based energy services firm, said Tuesday that Rob Guthrie had taken over from Ed Tinsley as the company’s chief executive officer in a planned leadership transition.

Tinsley had been CEO of the company since 2018. He oversaw the sale of a majority stake in the Bernhard by parent company, Baton Rouge-based private investment firm Bernhard Capital Partners, to DIF Capital Partners, a private investment firm headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2021. The sale price wasn’t disclosed.

Guthrie had been serving as Bernhard’s chief development officer and CEO-in-waiting since 2021. He has more than 20 years of industry experience

Rob Guthrie, CEO of Bernhard LLC, was previously head of development.

Bernard was founded in Baton Rouge in 1919 as a plumbing company by William Bernhard, later expanding into electrical and mechanical engineering and other areas to become a major Louisiana contracting firm.

The founder’s grandson, Jim Bernhard, used Bernard as a cornerstone of his Bernhard Capital Partners. He founded Bernhard Capital Partners in 2013 after selling The Shaw Group, a firm specializing in piping and other products for the energy industry, for $3 billion. Bernhard Capital has about $3.6 billion invested in a wide range of companies, including the Lemoine construction group, various utility operators and energy infrastructure companies.

Growth spurt

Under Bernhard Capital Partners’ ownership, Bernard specialized in providing energy as a turnkey service for clients like hospitals and universities. It grew organically and through several acquisitions to become the largest private energy-as-a-service company in the country by the time it was sold to DIF Capital three years ago.

As a private company, Bernhard doesn’t disclose financial information. A company spokesperson said Tuesday the number of its major energy-as-a-service contracting clients has grown from 15 when it was sold in October 2021 to 25.

In a news release Tuesday, Bernhard said that earnings under Tinsley had grown 310%, or 25% a year for his each of his six years in charge. The company said it has 2,200 full-time employees at 20 locations throughout the country.

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