María Victoria Riaño
President & CEO, Equion Energia Limited
Ms. Riaño is President and CEO of Equion Energia Limited, the private oil and gas exploration and production firm that resulted from BP’s divestment of Colombian assets to Ecopetrol (NOC) and Talisman Energy (now Repsol), starting 2011. Prior to Equion, Ms. Riaño did a short spell at NCR before spending eleven fruitful years with the financial sector, holding key posts as Road Concessions and Trust Manager. The oil sector came calling in 1999 in the shape of state Ecopetrol, where distinguished performance in the planning and financial divisions drove Ms. Riaño to the forefront of Strategy and M&A. From this role she directed a very exciting period for Ecopetrol’s organic growth, including novel forays into GoM and Brazil exploration activity, as well as acquisition of Hocol, Petrotech and Enbridge’s equity in Ocensa.
For seven years now, Ms. Riaño has delivered top-quartile results involving production, HSE and financials, while steering the transition from BP business unit to stand-alone company that excels at operating in the challenging piedmont of the Llanos Basin. Top-five rankings in private Colombian oil and gas production are a testament to her determination.
A sports enthusiast to the core, Ms. Riaño regularly bikes, jogs, cross-fits and starts in medium-long distance races for charity and awareness, hobby that builds on an earlier life passion for mountain climbing, with a noteworthy spot on the first all-female, 1987 expedition to summit Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak of the entire Americas, North or South, at 6,961 meters (22,840 feet).
During Maria Victoria’s tenure, Equion has been distinguished on a yearly basis with recognitions ranging from the Sustainability Seal and Sound Labor Practices Award, both issued by the Colombian Standards Institute, through outstanding employee satisfaction via the Great Place to Work® index, and on to the Green Latam Award for the Rural Community Entrepreneur Program, to name only a few.
Ms. Riaño’s visible sector headship has also turned her into a very active keynote speaker and panelist at major O&G conferences, as well as Human Capital and Sustainability gatherings, covering topics that include transformative leadership, gender equality, organizational culture and happiness in the workplace, among others.
Born in Colombian capital Bogotá, Maria Victoria Riaño holds Bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees in Business Administration from leading universities.