30 Fabulous Companies of the Year 2022
The Silicon Review
“Our vision is to create a legacy of excellence, economic growth, value, and productivity in the businesses and employees we invest in through paramount service, innovation, efficiency, and thought leadership.”
Iapetus Holdings is a privately held portfolio company with a suite of energy services businesses and alternative investments. The firm offers energy and utility industry solutions. Iapetus brings an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking approach and a deep bench of experienced individuals with diverse backgrounds in finance, energy, sales, safety, risk management, and various other spectrums.
Iapetus Holdings was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
Craig Taylor, CEO of Iapetus Holdings, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Iapetus Holdings provides shared service support to Atlas Retail Energy, Atlas Field Services, Atlas Commodities, Gold Coast Utility Specialists, Soaring Eagle Technologies, and Hyperion HSE, serving many sectors. What structure does Iapetus have in place to support these operating companies strategically and efficiently?
Iapetus has a deep bench of professionals with extensive expertise in finance, legal, operations, human resources, communications, safety, and business. Our headquarters leadership is 63 percent diverse. Our collective lens is a core point of differentiation for us in the verticals we serve. The combination of our skills and viewpoints creates unique and agile solutions to age-old problems, as well as for emerging challenges within each of the fields we work in.
Iapetus Holdings is solving some of the world's most urgent needs around energy, safety, and sustainability. As a privately held portfolio of seven self-funded, multimillion-dollar companies, Iapetus and its 400-plus employees apply strategic thinking, innovation, and an entrepreneurial vision. We strengthen infrastructure, electric reliability, and the economy, as well as the future generation of professionals. Iapetus seeks to give back to the community and leave a legacy for the next generation.
We like to define ourselves as "professional problem solvers" and risk mitigators. Our "A" team, located in Houston, Texas, services the operating companies across the country. And each of us works on risk management from a different angle.
Q. What is Iapetus' point of differentiation?
Our approach to risk management is unique. One thing all our businesses have in common is that we serve different verticals of the energy industry. The second commonality of our combined team is our ability to mitigate risk and plan for prevention. In addition, each business has key professionals that are subject matter experts in their unique field, whether that's energy consulting, energy brokerage, field services for utilities and energy companies, or tech-enabled inspections of critical infrastructure. It's a phenomenal combination: they are each very close to work. And because we have the "ten-thousand-foot view," we can "not lose the forest for the trees". We see the trends, the relationships, and the solutions clearly. To illustrate: regarding our utility vegetation management services, we like to say that we do not treat problems at a conductor level rather at a utility level. We see the broad picture. And we act on the minutia.
Formal academic training is something I believe in and value. I consider it has worked for me! I pursued the best education for myself, and I also extended leadership formation courses for individuals in our group of companies. We sponsor folks to attend classes at Rice and Columbia University. In addition, the fact that both our COO and I have financial banking backgrounds at some of the world's most rigorous institutions perhaps helps us understand how all the businesses, and more importantly, the people in these businesses, function. We hold high expectations of ourselves and our employees, and we also know that those who are a good fit for our company resonate with that level of trust, and they reciprocate. Without a doubt, the worthiest trait that we've developed as leaders has been the ability to read individuals. Whether it's a client within a critical situation or a team member, we aim to understand. Only then, we offer sound advice and practical solutions.
Q. How does each member in the team of experts bring value to each component of your business?
Because we do not sell any products, our brand is actually our people. And our people are a compilation of our values. How they behave, how they make decisions, their ethics, and their integrity. That's what our clients bargain for when they do business with our TEAMS. This is how we define our teams' values: Transparency, Excellence, Agility, Meritocracy, and Safety. This defines what our clients receive from each of us.
Although I founded the first business in the Iapetus group of companies in 2006, this past year, we have formalized these values, and they're common across our group of companies. This step has also been an important advancement in defining our brand: I read in a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that "shared values build relationships”. According to the article, a shared value is a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand's higher purpose or broad philosophy. More than the frequency of interactions, the study suggests your brand must resonate with the target audience's values and convey them in a way that forms connections between your company and customers. This is what attracts customers to us and why they stay. We have a "boutique" approach to servicing clients that truly makes us stand out and, luckily, have carved a niche for each of our businesses. Our vision is to create a legacy of excellence, economic growth, value, and productivity in the businesses and employees we invest in through paramount service, innovation, efficiency, and thought leadership.
That same article states that branding is introduced through experiences and interactions. For example, we think of Apple when we think of technology, speed, coolness, and wow factor. And when clients think of Iapetus, they think of transparency, agility, excellence, meritocracy, and safety. The HBR study shows that every single experience and interaction counts. I like to say that there's no better advertising for your brand than the things they say about you and your company when you're not in the room.
Q. Given how frequently circumstances change, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?
Our company's philosophy and one of our defining qualities is to be entrepreneurial, agile, and nimble. Just as we see this model applies so well to different aspects of an industry, we know it will work in the future as well for the problems we still don't know about. First of all, we're already planning around those problems and preventing them. That's a key part of our job! And second, we remain open. We are open-minded about possibilities and opportunities, even if they're outside of the scope of what we're thinking about today. And we are optimistic. I find it always pays off to remain open-eyed and keep a bright perspective.
We are also very fact-based and data-driven, and keenly tuned in. So, rarely things catch us by surprise.
Leadership | Iapetus Holdings
Craig Taylor is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Iapetus Holdings and seven self-funded multimillion-dollar operating companies under Iapetus Holdings. Craig spent several years as a leader in the US Navy. He holds a University of Maryland B.S., a Fordham University JD, and a Columbia University and London Business School joint MBA. In 2021 he was recognized among the Top 50 Multicultural Leaders by the National Diversity & Leadership Conference, Houston Business Journal’s Diversity in Business Awards and Titan Award - Entrepreneur; Iapetus won the Platinum award -Company. The non-profit he cofounded, Atlas Scholars, won the 2021 Ally Energy Superheroes GRIT award. Iapetus was listed #1 among the Houston Business Journal’s 2022 List of Veteran-Owned Businesses.
Tejpal Singh is the Chief Operating Officer of Iapetus Holdings. Originally from Canada, Tej began his career at Ontario Power Generation before pursuing a career in trading and consulting at Dynegy, TD Securities, and Deloitte in Canada. Tej spent nearly six years in commodities trading at Goldman Sachs in New York and finally at Mercuria in Houston, before joining Iapetus Holdings in 2012. Tej obtained a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Ontario. In 2021, Tej was honored among the recipients of the Top 50 Financial Leaders award.