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In Memoriam

Matthew Simmons, a prominent figure in the world of energy banking and research, passed away at the age of 67 on August 8, 2010, following a heart attack. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Mr. Simmons founded Simmons & Company International, a Houston-based investment bank specializing in the oil field service industry, with his brother L. E. Simmons in 1974. He retired from the company in 2005, subsequently serving as executive chairman. In 2007, he founded Ocean Energy Institute to explore the use of ocean-generated power, and at the time of his death was planning to take the venture public. With his intensively researched Wiley book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, he emerged in 2005 as the leading advocate of the "peak oil" theory, warning that the exhaustion of oil reserves is nearer at hand than assumed and that the need to find alternative sources of energy is critical. It was not Mr. Simmons's only controversial position; he was well known for his outspokenness, and his strong comments about BP following the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in its severing its relationship with Simmons & Company. His courage in voicing his thoughts was as admired and respected as the knowledge and experience that informed them.