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ING's Houston Office to Serve E&P Sector

Dutch financier ING Group is setting up a Houston office to focus on upstream services primarily for the exploration and production (E&P) sector.

ING Wholesale Banking, the corporate and investment banking division of ING Group, said it strengthened its structured finance natural resources practice in the Americas by hiring five senior bankers from Comerica Bank to manage the Houston branch.

The Houston unit will be led by Charles Hall, who helped to build Comerica's upstream and midstream energy banking effort over the last seven years. Prior to Comerica, Hall was executive director of the Emergency Oil and Gas Loan Guarantee Board, a joint operation of the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which administers a pool of federally funded energy development loans. Hall also was previously employed for eight years by Den Norske Bank in its energy finance group. Hall will be joined by former Comerica energy finance group's Juli Bieser, Michael Price, Huma Manal and Josh Strong. Hall and his team will report to Richard Ennis, head of ING's Natural Resources Americas.

ING Wholesale Banking is one of the six business lines of ING Group and is responsible for providing financial products and services to corporate and institutional clients across Europe, the Americas and Asia. ING's U.S. Natural Resources team was awarded Project Finance's2007North American Oil & Gas Deal of the Year.

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