Daniel S. Peña, Sr., is Chairman and Founder of The Guthrie Group (TGG), an investment consortium specializing in facilitating transactions, founded in 1997. With offices in the UK and Asia it has acted as principal, advisor and agent to global and regional companies and institutions. Mr. Peña was also founder, former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Western Resources Inc., (GWRI), a Houston-based natural resource company public on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). At the time of Mr. Peña’s decision to retire, GWRI was operational in the US, the Gulf of Mexico, the UK and South America and had a public market capitalization of $450 million(approximately $1 billion today), with interests in coal, and oil and gas exploration and production, drilling and construction pipeline. At the time the company was acquired in January 1997, he was the biggest individual shareholder.
In an 8-year period, starting with only $820, Mr. Peña grew Great Western Resources to $450 million while energy prices collapsed, the price of oil dropped from $40 to less than $8 per barrel and more than 10,000 energy companies in the US alone went out of business. During this massive energy decline GWRI grew 542,000%.
Prior to Mr. Peña’s founding of GWRI, he was the Chairman of JPK Industries, Inc., a vertically integrated company in the petroleum industry, involved in oil and gas drilling, operating, production, crude oil refining and marketing. As cofounder he helped grow the company to $50,000,000 in three years. Prior to JPK Industries, he was with the investment banking form of Bear Stearns and Co. where he advised clients throughout the US and internationally
Subsequent to this tenure at Bear Stearns, he served as President and CEO of Kennedy Industries Inc., a company with major interests in real estate, insurance, financial services, and the entertainment industry. While still in graduate school, he was made a principal in a real estate firm and led the nation in sales.
Since leaving Wall Street and while building his own companies exponentially, Peña has successfully negotiated transactions with many multinationals, all BIG 4 accountancy firms, many major international financial institutions and many governments. In addition, he has successfully transacted business with both the Church and Bank of England.
He has been a lecturer for the Continuing Education for CPA’s program and has taught pro bono a yearlong course to minority business students on entrepreneurism at his alma mater, California State University. He also volunteered his time to rebuild LA subsequent to the devastating riots near his childhood home in Los Angeles and served at the request of the Mayor on the Executive Committee for The Alliance for a Safer LA.
Mr. Peña is an extremely dynamic and powerful speaker, motivator, and grand master entrepreneur. His Quantum Leap Advantage™ business success seminars have been in demand in the United States, Canada and Europe. His seminars have been sponsored by various US and foreign universities and corporations such as Dell as well as The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
In recent years, since retiring, he has given keynote addresses, interactive workshops, seminars and conferences on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific on building businesses exponentially and has been recognized as a “super success business coach” and mentor.
As a quantum growth strategist, Mr. Peña was the principal speaker at the prestigious Center of Entrepreneurial Management’s annual management course. Mr. Peña was also the speaker at “Success Magazine’s First Annual Conference” on entrepreneurism. He was asked to articulate his methodology on “Managing Growth and Diversification” as well as “Growth Strategies”. He has also articulated his methodologies on “How to Achieve Explosive Growth” to the YPO’s (Young Presidents Organization) North and South America International Resource Convention. In addition, Mr. Peña has written a column on “Explosive Growth Strategies for Agora Publishing”, one of the largest financial newsletter publishers in the world. Agora Publishing researched, produced and distributed the highly successful financial instructional product – Financing Your Dream – where Peña walks you through a step by step methodology to achieve your Dream.
Peña has been a major benefactor (through The Charlie Soladay Award, named after his deceased partner and The University of Texas graduate, J. Charles Soladay) to the Moot Corp.’s International Entrepreneurial Challenge at the University of Texas, at Austin.
Peña also participated as keynote speaker in the launching of The Entrepreneurs Club by the Grampian Enterprise Board for the regional government in Aberdeen, Scotland, near his home, Guthrie Castle.
He has also been keynote speaker at the prestigious De Amstel Club in Amsterdam and The World Trade Center Clubs both in Rotterdam and Amsterdam where his topic was “Explosive Growth”. Mr. Peña also led The Executive Studies (London) series Chief Executive Program featuring the “21st Century Boardroom and Quantum Growth”. He was also retained as a consultant to bring QLA methodology to one of the top 25 companies in the world, where Peña mentored for 10 years Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, who became CEO of Siemens, AG. In 2005, which had over 400,000 employees and annual revenue/turnover of $95 billion.
He has been on the roster of Who’s Who in America, was a nominee for INC magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1989, and was chairman and major shareholder of Success Development, Inc. (SDI), a company on INC’s 500 1996 and 1997 list of fastest growing privately held companies (# 152 and #195 respectively) in the US. He was also chairman and stockholder of the company which was presented with the “MKB Innovation Prize of 1998” award for company of the year by the Economic minister of the Netherlands (Holland). The CEO of that same company was nominated “European Entrepreneur of the year, 1999”.
He was appointed to the US Presidential Roundtable Senatorial Commission in 1991. He has served on the Alumni Association Board of California State University, Northridge, where he graduated with a BS in Business Administration in 1971. He has also served as a member of the University’s Trust Fund Board, serving on the finance and investment committees, and the University’s Foundation Board. He is a 1972 graduate of the New York Institute of Finance.
Mr. Peña was a financial advisor to entities as diverse as the Vatican and the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
He has been the recipient of many awards including: the “1981 Latin business Association Outstanding Business Owner” award: the “1994 John Regan Award for Excellence” by the Center of Entrepreneurial Management; the American International Real Estate Expo and Conference (AIREEC) USA 2008 “Man of the Year Award”; and the 2008 AIREEC “Inspirational Leadership Award”. He has been featured in many US publications such as the Los Angeles Times (an article which won the Pulitzer Prize), as well as dozens of UK publications such as The Times, and The Financial Times, along with the Dutch publications OBJEKT, Bouwteam and Limburg Bagblad. He was also featured on US, UK, Chinese and German television.
Peña had a distinguished career with the US army, entering voluntarily as a private and graduating from Infantry Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) a 2nd lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia, serving as Military Police, Intelligence Officer and Security Officer at NATO Headquarters during the late 60s.
Mr. Peña is also an active sportsman, having received the Bronze Show Award, 1976, from Los Angeles Athletic club, and the Award of Merit in 1977 from Sports Illustrated. He was featured in People’s Court Judge Joseph Wapner’s book, “A View from the Bench” as one of the most courageous cases he adjudicated in his thirty year career.
He is a member of the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, The London Capital Club, The Clermont Club and Mosimann’s in London.
Though he still travels extensively with his wife Sally, throughout the US, Asia, South America and Europe over seeing business interests, he still gives occasional seminars at his home Guthrie Castle, Scotland. His three grown children, Kelly, Derrick and Danny all live in the US, pursuing their own interests.
Dan Peña currently serves as Chairman of his personal holding and other growing companies in various industries in the US, UK and Asia.