Christopher DeClaire, Co-founder and CAO, Vantage Drilling Co.

Christopher DeClaire, Co-founder and CAO, Vantage Drilling Co.


A big part of Christopher DeClaire’s personality is to give credit to his team for the success of Vantage Drilling Co., a deep water and high specification jack-up drilling company. DeClaire and his co-founder Paul Bragg, also the company’s CEO, have assembled a seasoned team of drilling industry veterans who have successfully grown the start-up company.

DeClaire, who is chief administration officer, focuses on “all of the jobs and decisions nobody else wants” but which are necessary to keep the company operating efficiently while growing rapidly.

He has helped various members of the management team adapt to the challenges, uncertainties and limited infrastructure of a start-up company.

When the 2008 recession hit and banks would fund only one drilling rig out of the four that Vantage requested, DeClaire and his team decided they would be “street fighters” and were unwilling to give up on getting four rigs built. They put together a project financing deal at a less than optimal interest rate and issued more shares in order to get the remaining fleet built and deployed. DeClaire and his team knew these rigs would be in demand even though the overall jack-up market was in the doldrums — and they have been deployed with clients since coming online.

Vantage’s ongoing growth and success enables DeClaire’s team to cherry-pick experienced personnel from across the industry. He views himself as a coach who enables his team to perform at its best. He acknowledges the strengths of the experienced people who come to Vantage, and he provides them guidance to help work through issues.

HOW TO REACH: Vantage Drilling Co.,