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Oxford Executive MBA

Oxford Executive MBA

Case studies: Robert Clews

SMBC Europe Ltd 

Robert Clews, Head of Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, Energy & Natural Resources Project Finance, British

'As Head of Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals at SMBC I am involved in the financing of multi-billion dollar projects in the EMEA region. Over the past few years I have worked on the financing of an integrated offshore oil and gas project in Russia, several petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants in the Middle East and oil field development projects in West Africa.

In 2007, as part of an initiative to develop its relationship with top business schools, SMBC became a partner of Saïd Business School. At this point I started to think seriously about doing the Oxford Executive MBA. My career had become very focused and I wanted to broaden my outlook and gain a more strategic perspective of business. 

The strategic and entrepreneurial focus of the Oxford Executive MBA was very important to me, especially when applied to the course project work. Entrepreneurship is often seen as more relevant to start-ups and small businesses but I have learned from this programme that entrepreneurship is equally important for big organisations. 

Management roles can become too bureaucratic and lacking in the active search for new opportunities. Another highlight of my time at Oxford was mixing with other students from a variety of management backgrounds and industries and particularly those with entrepreneurial backgrounds.

SMBC has benefited from my Oxford Executive MBA experiences. The most important thing – part of the bank’s wider business schools initiative – has been to create strong links with the Saïd Business School. We’ve subsequently hired graduates of the school and have sponsored the SMBC Al Mustaqbal MBA scholarship.'

Nick Pitts-Tucker, Executive Director, General Manager, Co-Head of Corporate Banking Group and Structured Finance Dept

'Robert’s involvement in the Oxford Executive MBA, together with SMBC’s general partnership with the Saïd Business School, has been very positive for the bank. The project work undertaken by Robert as part of the programme has had direct relevance to the bank’s project finance activities and is contributing to the strategic development of the business.

Overall the Oxford Executive MBA has undoubtedly added to Robert’s management capabilities particularly in terms of strategic outlook and business development.'

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