Kurth Anderson – Biography
Kurth is a Strategy and Transformation leader with over 25 years experience as both a consultant (Alvarez & Marsal, Marakon Associates) and as an operator (Xerox and Pitney Bowes) helping drive margin improvement and sustained profitable growth. Kurth’s experiences span a range of industries, including Print/Document Hardware and Services, Energy, Petrochemicals, Manufacturing, Restaurants, and Transportation
Kurth holds a dual MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Joseph H. Lauder program and a BA in Economics from Princeton University. He is a dual citizen on the US and France and is fluent in French. He lives in the Clear Lake area and loves sailing on Galveston Bay with his wife and family (when he can drag them along!)
PASCALE NICOLET SMITH
Director and Immediate Past President
Pascale Nicolet Smith - Biography
Pascale is an international business leader and President of Agora Management LP, a privately held holding company with operations in Management Consulting, Real Estate, and Technology.
Her management consulting firm Agora Partners, LP spans over 20 years of advisory work in strategic growth and operational improvement around the globe with companies ranging from $50 Billion in revenue to start-ups and individuals. She is currently building a real estate brokerage firm, and a fluids processing company, Flow Technology Systems, LLC.
Prior to her independent career, Pascale was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Switzerland, France, and the U.S.; then headed the Strategy group for the largest division of Compaq Computers with global responsibilities focusing on growth in Asia. Before her MBA, Pascale was an executive producer for documentaries at Ekis Reportages an independent production firm in Switzerland, for which she presented at the Cannes Festival.
Pascale holds an MBA from the Wharton School, and B.A.’s in Economics and Art from Drew University. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Switzerland with a South African heritage, and is fluent in French, Spanish, English, and Portuguese. She loves the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her family.
RENJU JOSE KURUVILA (MBA 2016)
Renju Jose Kuruvila, CFA - - Biography
Renju Jose Kuruvila is President of M/D Totco, a division of NOV (NYSE: NOV), a leading independent provider of technology to the energy industry with operations in more than 60 countries. Prior to his current role, Renju spent a decade undertaking mergers and acquisitions for NOV and was involved in 100+ transactions around the world. He was most recently Vice President, NOV Ventures where he held global responsibility over joint ventures, alliances and investments in early stage technologies. Renju joined NOV in 2002 in Houston, Texas as a Strategic Analyst and has been in various roles in the Middle East, Europe, and South America during his career.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a CFA Charterholder. Prior to moving to the United States for his education, Renju managed his family’s natural rubber plantation business in India.
Renju currently sits on the Boards of NOV’s joint venture with Schlumberger called IntelliServ and with Saudi Aramco, called ARM. Since 2017 he has been a member of the Board of the Houston Area Parkinson Society.
Andrew Clark is a founder and principal with The Castell Group, LLC an investment and advisory firm assisting companies in the technology business. He has a 35 year career spanning many facets of technology and energy businesses. On a daily basis he interacts with some of Houston’s top entrepreneurs assisting them with their businesses while identifying the best of breed in which to invest.
Andrew is a prior president and chairman of the Houston Angel Network (named top angel group by Angel Capital Association five years running). He is the founding managing director of the Texas Halo Fund and was founding managing director of the SURGE accelerator. He has invested in numerous companies spanning industries from consumer products, software, Internet-based, and energy tech to life sciences.
His corporate career covers stints at Reliant Energy (now NRG), Compaq Computer (now Hewlett Packard), and Coopers & Lybrand (now IBM and Pricewaterhouse Coopers). He began his private equity investment experience at Compaq where he served as board observer on a deal co-funded with the premier Sevin Rosen Funds.
He has served as a guest lecturer on numerous occasions at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, The Bauer School at the University of Houston, and the Tulane Graduate School of Business. A primary topic at recent Rice lectures has been board governance and post-investment monitoring. Andrew has also spoken at industry conferences and investment forums. He has served on panels at various family office forums.
He is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. He was both a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a University Scholar at Penn.
PAUL PRYZANT (BS, THE WHARTON SCHOOL)
Paul Pryzant - - Biography
Paul Pryzant is a partner in the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which has more than 900 lawyers across 16 offices, and provides transactional, litigation and advisory legal services to clients worldwide.
For over 35 years, Paul has represented clients in a variety of mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, and other corporate transactions. Paul works with entrepreneurs who want to sell or merge their companies. He also regularly works with strategic buyers, and private equity funds and their portfolio companies, which are acquiring software and other high-tech companies that help his clients obtain new cutting-edge technologies, and add new products and services.
Paul helps sellers successfully and efficiently sell their company, and minimize their potential liabilities to the buyer. He translates the complexities of the M&A process into plain English that sellers can understand, so they can make the right decisions for their company.
Buyers face challenges working with entrepreneurs selling their company, especially when the seller is new to the M&A process and may not be adequately represented by experienced M&A counsel. Paul’s objective is to help the buyers he represents quickly build trust with the target company and their counsel, and help guide the transaction to closing quickly and efficiently.
CLAUDIA JARAMILLO (MBA 2004)
Claudia Jaramillo - - Biography
Claudia Jaramillo serves as Corporate Officer and Vice President Treasurer of Schlumberger.
During her more than 20 years in the energy industry, Claudia has held a variety of leadership
and senior finance positions in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In her current position, she is
responsible for Schlumberger’s global liquidity, debt capital transactions in the U.S. and
European markets, as well as relations with the credit rating agencies, global banking group and
Claudia serves on the board of Generation USA, where she chairs the Audit Committee. She is
also a member of the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce, whose goal is to reshape the future of
corporate finance and investment as a catalyst for growth, value creation and social impact.
Claudia is a frequent speaker on treasury, sustainability, and governance. She has been a
panelist at the Women Economic Forum, the Deloitte CFO Vision and Board Governance
Dialogue conference for Fortune 500 board members. Claudia’s focus on development of
diverse talent led to the launching of a global program where she sponsors mentoring for
women across 50 countries.
Prior to her current role, Claudia held various controller positions, with increasing
responsibilities and geographies, covering up to 80 countries, and led successful large-scale cost
optimization and transformation initiatives. While based in Beijing and then later as North
America Controller, in Houston, she was responsible for capital allocation, budgeting, and
reporting, looking at businesses from a holistic perspective, managing short-term demands
while focusing on sustainable financial performance.
Before working in the energy industry, Claudia held various technical and commercial positions,
managing telecom and smart-card projects in different markets. She is passionate about
understanding technology and how to leverage it in businesses and the world at large. Claudia
holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Pontificia Universidad
Javeriana and an MBA from The Wharton School. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and