Meet ...

Jon Fitzpatrick - Managing Director of Gneiss Energy

Jon Fitzpatrick has graduated from the University of Dundee three times. We caught up with him to find out more about his career since graduating, and how he is giving back to the University.

Who are you? Jon Fitzpatrick

What did you study at Dundee? Law, a Diploma in Legal Practice and an LL.M (Dist.) in Natural Resources Law (specialising in Petroleum Economics).

When did you graduate? 1994, 1996 and 1997

What is your job title? Managing Director of Gneiss Energy

What do you do at work? I founded Gneiss in 2016. It is a relationship-led, advisory practice, operating exclusively within the energy and resources sectors. We specialise in providing independent, strategic advice and project management support at board and senior management level.

Jon graduating in 1994

Jon graduating in 1996

What was it like to be a student at Dundee? Collectively, my degree and post-graduate studies held me on campus for seven years, an extremely rewarding experience academically, socially and culturally. Following the initial excitement of taking up my place, I found that the University’s ethos of nurture and encouragement helped considerably to ease me into the rigours and responsibilities of a university education. Having been born in Dundee and raised in and around it, I arrived on campus comfortably familiar with the city, its attractions and its history, and I took some satisfaction in assuming a quasi-ambassadorial role, showcasing my home town to fellow students from further afield.

Why did you choose to come to Dundee? I am very proud of my home city and its heritage, particularly its economic and industrial development, from ship-building and pre-eminence in textile manufacture, through its post-war renaissance within the light engineering and electronics sector, with business machine and computer manufacturing, not to mention a healthy, burgeoning, further educational environment boasting two universities!  I didn’t feel that leaving it to further my studies would necessarily confer any advantage.

Have you got any memorable stories of your time here? Yes, and they should probably remain as memories!

How did your degree impact on your career development when leaving university, and beyond? The qualifications I earned and the experience I gained during my time at the University of Dundee were instrumental in preparing me to embark on my career as a Corporate Lawyer. Naturally, as time progresses and work experience grows, the relevance, but not the importance, of earlier achievements diminishes.  For me, it is crucial to recognise the distinction between the two, particularly in this context. Simply, there can be no substitute for a solid grounding on which to build a career.

Jon Fitzpatrick CV

  • Currently Managing Director of Gneiss Energy
  • Managing Director and Head of Natural Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as, Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets, Europe at Macquarie Capital
  • Variety of senior management positions with Cenkos Securities plc
  • Senior Director, Corporate Finance at Brewin Dolphin (now N+1 Singer)
  • Member of the specialist ECM and energy advisory teams for Arthur Andersen (now CMS Cameron McKenna)
  • Corporate lawyer, with McClure Naismith LLP,
  • Executive assistant to the CEO at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee

Jon and his wife, Carolyn, at the House of Lords event in November 

What was your reaction to being asked to attend the University of Dundee’s 1967 Club dinner at the House of Lords? I was honoured to receive an invitation from Lord Robertson to become a founder of the 1967 Club. The Club’s ideal of ensuring that finance is not a barrier to the opportunities of a University of Dundee education is one that resonates well with me and I was eager to support such a laudable cause. Of course, as a lawyer, I was also quite taken by the thought of being able to dine in the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the highest court in the land.

Gneiss Energy has committed to match fund a Robertson Scholar throughout their degree, why do you feel it is important to support students financially? I benefited from a free education which has afforded me the opportunity to achieve some success in my life.  I find it an affront to think of others being denied the same opportunity simply because of cost – what rationale is there behind a selection process that considers applicants on any criteria other than ability and the will to succeed?  I want to help ensure that financial hardship isn’t a barrier to an individual realising their full potential.

Gneiss Energy offer a summer internship, what benefits does this offer the student and the business? For the student, over the course of the internship, relevant exposure to the energy sector and financial markets through involvement in a “live” project will, hopefully, give them a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Of course, we will provide all the necessary support and training and, as a team member, they will be able to “tap in” to years of experience, over a wide range of disciplines and jurisdictions. For Gneiss Energy, we get the chance to spread the workload across a larger team and a fresh perspective on our practices and procedures. I’m confident that this will be of value to us as we continue to develop and improve how we operate.

Can you please complete the following sentence, “My Dundee education gave me…” – the opportunity to develop my potential.”