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Inspirational Leaders

Delivering Differentiated and Actionable Insights that Transform Industries

Chris Shepley, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Commodities Research, Wood Mackenzie

Chris Shepley Image 1

I’m Head of Global Commodities Research at Wood Mackenzie. I lead a team that delivers data and analysis covering the oils, refined products, gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and chemicals sectors globally. We’re a group of 160 experts worldwide, working from offices in Houston, London, Edinburgh, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and other locations.

06:30 a.m.

The alarm goes off at 6:30—that is, if our kids, who are four and seven years old, haven’t already woken my wife and me up! 

I strongly believe that how you think directly impacts how you feel, your mindset, how you deal with situations, and how others perceive you. I try to spend the first few minutes of each day thinking about the day ahead, reflecting on how I want to present myself, considering personal and work matters important to me, and anticipating any potential challenges. 

I get out of bed, and—on a good morning—I try to do some stretches focusing on my back and hamstrings. A couple of years ago, a friend recommended a book by Ming Chew, an American physiotherapist, and I’ve found his stretches have helped improve my flexibility.

I’ll respond to any urgent emails and check my diary, but I spend most of the next hour getting the kids up and ready for school before leaving the house by 8:00.

08:00 a.m.

My wife and I work full-time, so we share the school run duties depending on who has early meetings or calls. 

I’ll be online around 8:00 in my home office, or if I’ve taken the kids to school, I will be at the office or back home by 9:00.

Over the week, I have a series of one-to-one calls or meetings with different leadership team members. Morning calls are with UK- or APAC-based colleagues and afternoons tend to be with members of my leadership team based in the United States.

As a business, our goals are to ensure our content is proprietary, differentiated, and targeted to our clients’ most high-value workflows–strategic planning, asset valuation, investment decision making, trading, and risk management. We provide data, analysis, and modeling tools to help our clients. 

What this means in practice is that we have teams delivering analysis in our existing product applications and teams working with colleagues in Wood Mackenzie’s product, data, technology, and sales functions on projects to create new services and solutions.

Chris Shepley Image 1

Chris's team delivers data and analysis covering the oils, refined products, gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and chemicals sectors.

10:00 a.m.

I meet with my colleague Andy Pearson, VP of Research leading the Lens® Markets development, to review the team’s work, feedback from clients, and our developers’ design sprints. In these meetings, we look at how the future product vision is being shaped, any technical or resource challenges that might limit progress, and checking to ensure we deliver a scalable Markets solution. This allows us to provide content across the different commodity and resource markets we cover.

11:00 a.m.

I meet with Cat Twiney, VP of Strategy and Improvement, about some of our strategic alliances, hiring plans, the current integrated update cycle, and the work we’re doing with the teams to increase the use of Wood Mackenzie’s diversity and inclusion playbook. As a team, we’re trying to build an inquisitive, creative culture and continue to improve work efficiency and its impact and value for our clients. We’re working on being more inclusive and growing our diversity across teams. And we’re trying to do all this in a competitive, fast-moving business environment, while our people and customers may still be operating under constraints from the pandemic.

My next two calls are with my team’s HR Business Partner—to discuss any people or HR management needs—and the head of Commodities Sales to review subscription pipelines and key client engagement activities. 

1:00 p.m.

I have my Commodities leadership team monthly call to discuss strategy, business financial and operational performance, people development, and HR matters.

A key priority for Commodities Research in 2022 is to design and develop our future content offerings that will ultimately be an integral part of the Wood Mackenzie Lens data analytics platform. We’re also making significant investments in our real-time data and analytics services. Operationally, we work hard to drive efficiencies in our integrated analysis and update processes across the energy and resource sectors. We work with colleagues on the Energy Transition and Metals and Mining research teams to deepen our analysis of the energy transition and potential scenarios. 

While these calls are conveniently in the middle of the day for those of us in the UK, time zones mean it’s early morning for Houston and evening for APAC-based colleagues. Being a global company means we need to be flexible and accommodating to these differences.

Chris Shepley Image 1

Chris and his colleagues work to deepen their analysis of the transition to renewable energy. 

3:00 p.m.

I try to keep time in my schedule to implement key business goals, be they people or organizational development, content, or client relationship building. I also like to save time for ad-hoc calls or check-ins with colleagues to remain accessible without scheduling a formal meeting. My typical afternoons follow a similar pattern as my morning routine, but with a focus on one-on-one calls with Leadership colleagues who are based in the United States. 

05:00 p.m.

If I’m working remotely, I’ll try to pause around 4:00 p.m. when our childminder brings the kids home from school to say hi, and I’ll also fix tea for the kids around 5:00 p.m. I’m fortunate to have a flexible schedule to structure my work around the early morning and evening commitments of a young family. And not traveling for work due to the pandemic has given me more time at home. We have the chance to have a family meal together and do homework or play with the kids some nights a week. I’ll also try to go to the gym two or three times in the week (with my wife if she has finished work, too!). Our childminder helps until 7:00 p.m., and then I take some time to review the day and tuck our kids into bed with bedtime stories. 

7:00 p.m.

Evenings tend to be a mix of catching up on emails and administrative work, cooking a meal with my wife, or switching off by watching TV or a box set episode. Succession, The Morning Show, Clarkson’s Farm, and Billions have all been recent binge-worthy favorites, along with MasterChef and the Great British Bake-off.  

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