The team at Donovan Ventures has over 85 years of combined energy financial services and private equity experience. We have developed in-depth energy expertise and cultivated industry-wide relationships that allow us to market, structure and close transactions that maximize value for management teams and existing investors. The partners at Donovan Ventures are directly involved in executing every transaction. Our niche focus and hands on approach ensures our clients receive executive-level attention and proven results.

John Donovan, Jr.

Founder and Managing Partner

Mr. Donovan founded Donovan Ventures’ in 2007 to provide private equity and advisory services to energy entrepreneurs. Since inception, the firm has invested in 14 distinct energy companies and has advised on over $1.4 billion of advisory transactions.

Prior to forming Donovan Ventures, Mr. Donovan spent five years at Quantum Energy Partners. Mr. Donovan joined Quantum during their second fund which targeted $25 – $50 million investments in the upstream and midstream energy sectors. Mr. Donovan actively participated in the firm’s investment activities and supported the firm’s growth as an associate and vice president from $300 million to over $3 billion in assets under management at which time he left to form Donovan Ventures.

Mr. Donovan began his career in 2000 as an analyst with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (since acquired by Credit Suisse) where he focused on structured financings in the firm’s energy investment banking group in Houston. Mr. Donovan holds a B.B.A. in Finance with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Texas.

Jason Holton

Chief Operating Officer

Prior to joining Donovan Ventures, Mr. Holton served as the Founder and CEO of Omega Sands LLC (a portfolio company of Energy Founders Fund, LP) from 2017 through 2019. Omega Sands is developing a greenfield frac sand mine located in the STACK play in Oklahoma.

Prior to Omega Sands, Mr. Holton spent 12 years as an investment banker and held various roles in Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division, including running coverage of the U.S. refining, marketing and logistics sectors (2014 – 2017), helping rebuild the Asia-Pacific energy team in Hong Kong (2011 – 2014), executing various capital markets and M&A transactions across the energy sector from the Houston based natural resources group (2017 – 2011) and working as a member of the New York based financial sponsors group, where he worked on leveraged buy-out and sell-side transactions for private equity firms.

Mr. Holton started his investment banking career at JPMorgan in 2005, where he also focused on financing and M&A transactions for private equity firms.

Throughout his investment banking career, Mr. Holton has executed over 50 capital markets and M&A transactions in the U.S. and Asia.

Prior to investment banking, Mr. Holton held positions in treasury and FP&A for companies in the retail and technology sectors.

Mr. Holton holds a BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Will Page

Managing Director - Advisory Services

Mr. Page is a Managing Director and brings over 19 years of investment banking experience including over 135 engagements (>45 Public Offerings, 30 Private Placements, >30 M&A Advisory, >15 Fairness Opinions and other Financial Advisory) primarily for oilfield service, midstream and upstream energy companies.

Prior to joining Donovan Ventures, Mr. Page was previously with Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, Stephens Inc., Citigroup Global Markets and Sanders Morris Harris.

Mr. Page holds a B.B.A in Finance with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Texas.

Jay Jacobs

Managing Director - Restructuring Services

Prior to joining Donovan Ventures as a Managing Director, Mr. Jacobs served as the founder and managing member of HMJ Energy, LLC, an energy advisory and business consulting firm located in Houston, TX. Mr. Jacobs brings over 20 years of domestic and international energy and corporate finance expertise having served as the CFO of two public companies, Yuma Energy, Inc. (NYSE American: YUMA) and Houston American Energy (NYSE American: HUSA), as a Senior Vice President of Investment Banking at Sanders Morris Harris, as well as the experience he gained in private equity and public accounting while working at Duke Capital Partners and Deloitte.

In his career Mr. Jacobs has been involved in over 50 transactions totaling in excess of $3.5 billion. His transaction experience includes M&A, equity financings (IPOs, PIPEs, Registered Directs, ATMs, Convertible Preferred and Private Placement transactions), reverse mergers, debt placement, sell-side and buy-side (both as an advisor and principal), joint ventures, fairness opinions and valuation work.

Mr. Jacobs graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin – The Red McCombs School of Business with a Masters in Professional Accounting and a Bachelor of Business administration and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas.

Robert E. Smith III

Vice President

Mr. Smith joined Donovan Ventures in 2015 as an analyst and led market research, investment diligence and valuation. During his time as an analyst and associate, Mr. Smith assisted in the screening and valuation of over 700 opportunities.

Mr. Smith is currently a Vice President and is responsible for deal execution, including financial modeling, generating investor reports, comprehensive investment due diligence and market research. In addition to deal diligence and execution, Mr. Smith leads global macro research focusing on trends within the energy sector. Mr. Smith has participated in over $500 million of debt and equity private placement transactions since joining Donovan Ventures.

Prior to joining, Mr. Smith attended Louisiana State University and received a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering in 2014. While at LSU, he played on its varsity football team and won an SEC Championship during his sophomore year. Mr. Smith currently serves on the boards of Regiment, LLC, Omega Sands LLC and Huntington Oil & Gas.

Marcus Minton

Operations Partner

Mr. Minton started his career as an operations engineer at Lewis Energy Group, where he was the sole engineer for the company’s coiled tubing department. He oversaw continuous operations for the two coiled tubing units and 35 operators/technicians. Later he transitioned to the fracturing department as an engineer, where he oversaw daily operations for one of the company’s fracturing spreads. During his time at Lewis, he oversaw the completion of over 200 wells. After two years with Lewis, Mr. Minton joined Donovan Ventures as a Summer Associate.

During his time with Donovan Ventures, Mr. Minton led several oilfield service assignments further enhancing his transition into the financial side of the business, including co-founding Regiment, LLC, a pressure pumping company that serves both the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin, in November of 2017. Mr. Minton holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University, and an MBA from Texas State University. Mr. Minton currently serves on the boards of Regiment, LLC and Huntington Oil and Gas.

Eli Leal

Controller

Eli Leal serves as Controller for Donovan Ventures and is responsible for all accounting and reporting related functions. He has over 10 years of accounting experience within the oil and gas industry, primarily serving midstream and oilfield service companies. Prior to Donovan Ventures, Eli worked for Champions Cinco Pipe & Supply, LLC and Elite Compression Services, LLC, where he gained invaluable industry knowledge and experience. Eli additionally held various public accounting roles at Melton & Melton, LLP, where he primarily served private companies in the oilfield service, construction, and dealership industries. Eli received a BS in Accounting from University of Houston-Clear Lake and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Eli proudly served in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged in 2008. During his time of service, he was deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Carl Vinson. Outside of work, Eli enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, skiing, hiking and has a passion for real estate.

Alex Keller

Analyst

Mr. Keller joined Donovan Ventures in 2020 as an analyst and is currently responsible for underwriting potential investments, financial modeling and other investment due diligence processes. Mr. Keller supports in diligence for Donovan Ventures Advisory Services as well as Energy Founders Fund portfolio companies.

Mr. Keller holds a B.A. in Economics from Metropolitan State University of Denver where he was a member of the Division II Men’s Lacrosse team and a member of the Exploring Economic Freedom Project.

Pierce Kirkland

Analyst

Mr. Kirkland joined Donovan Ventures in 2019 as an analyst and is currently responsible for market research, financial modeling and data analysis in support of investment due diligence. Mr. Kirkland supports several Energy Founders Fund portfolio companies, including Huntington Oil & Gas and SPL Leak Detection, with their business development and corporate strategy efforts. Mr. Kirkland also supports Donovan Ventures research of advanced materials and clean energy technologies.

Mr. Kirkland holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Furman University where he was a collegiate rugby player and V.P. of the Furman University Investment Club.