Phone: +1.832.748.1900
Email: nick@octopusinternational.com


Nick Tillmann is a pioneering business leader whose experience ranges from the leadership of diverse international businesses to mergers & acquisitions, strategic and tactical planning, turnarounds, start-ups and emerging markets.    




Following the merger of Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum in 2002, Nick reorganized and managed the combined ConocoPhillips’ calcined petroleum coke business, a $500 million global business unit with manufacturing in the US, Europe and Asia.  He increased global revenue by 15% and doubled the earnings of a problem joint venture within two years, facilitating the successful sale of the JV. 

Earlier, he served as Managing Director, DuPont Conoco Poland, starting from scratch the company’s business in Poland immediately after the fall of communism and building the leading retail fuel and convenience store network in the country. Under Nick’s leadership, Conoco was the first western company in Poland to open a retail fuel and convenience store, and the first to partner with McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and others on retail developments.  In his five years in Poland, Nick gained a wealth of experience in managing uncertainty and ambiguity, as well as working with the government at all levels, from local authorities on permitting issues, to senior government ministers on major privatization projects.

Nick has strong analytical, business modeling and strategy management skills and has developed business analysis tools to assess markets and identify key business drivers and success factors in businesses ranging from retail marketing to technology based products such as petroleum coke, carbon products and flow improvers. He has led strategic and operational reviews of several businesses, often resulting in sustained improvements in revenues and profits.

Nick has substantial business development experience and has led multi-discipline teams in business expansion projects in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Recent engagements include a new business start-up in the Middle East in the pharmaceutical industry, advising a Swedish company on a potential acquisition and evaluating a business opportunity in the transportation sector in Poland.

Nick speaks German and Polish, and has a working knowledge of Czech and Spanish.  He earned a Master of International Management degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Political Science and German from The University of Illinois at Chicago.



I worked with Nick on a new business start up in the Middle East (in the pharmaceutical industry). As business lead, Nick prepared business and financial plans, developed presentation and promotional material, led discussions with government officials and potential investors, and successfully negotiated an alliance agreement with local partners. Nick is a true professional with exceptional skills in all aspects of business development. Despite being new to the industry, he quickly grasped key business drivers, developed detailed economics and effectively coordinated team activities to keep the project moving forward. Nick is a pleasure to work with.

Omar Alam


Nick Tillmann has played a major roll in the success of our Venco joint venture with ConocoPhillips from our initial purchase negotiations in 2000 through the recent successful sale of the business.

•          He facilitated our purchase of the business by resolving outstanding issues with Conoco’s previous partner and leading complex negotiations with financial institutions.

•          He developed and implemented a strategy to consolidate Venco’s and ConocoPhillips’ global petroleum coke marketing and supply operations, which significantly improved Venco’s earnings and contributed to the successful sale of Venco in 2005.

•          Nick successfully resolved customer bankruptcy issues and associated business disputes with customers and suppliers in the US, Venezuela and Egypt which remained with the sellers after the sale of Venco.  The issues were complex and inter-related, and carried significant potential liabilities.  Working literally across three continents, Nick was able to reach agreement with each party that settled the issues at no net cost to the partners.  He was then able to sell the business at a profit, generating cash from what looked like a certain loss situation.

Nick has excellent business transactional skills, and has the ability to understand markets and develop and implement value adding business strategies.  His approach is open, honest and straightforward, and our team enjoyed working with him at all levels.

M. E. Zukerman
President, M. E. Zukerman Energy Investors Incorporated


Nick Tillmann came in as an outside consultant and within a few months worked with the entire Denmark Organization to develop and implement a strategy that revitalized our business and resulted in an almost immediate improvement of more than 15% in our revenue and profitability that we have been able to sustain for years.   Nick is an excellent listener, with good interpersonal skills.  He understands business and economics and has the unique ability to identify key business drivers and focus in on those things that are really important.

The strategy developed by the team Nick led meant that when I left Denmark in 2005, our market share had doubled, and the business was strong.

Ulf Ingelson
Managing Director, Conoco Denmark 1999 - 2005

I worked with Nick between 1992 and 1999. He ran our company’s business operations in post communist Poland for five years

He took the company from a zero base, start-up business to one of the most successful retail chains of its type in the country – In terms of fuel, shop and carwash results, his business achieved the best national average performance figures. He also forged retail alliances with MacDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken, which further helped grow the business.

Nick’s strongest qualities are…

  • Vision
  • Business acumen
  • Drive and determination
  • Team building
  • Integrity

He left the business in a very strong and sound condition ensuring its continued status as the country’s number one fuel retailer.

Ron Fenton
Director of Marketing and Operations – Central and Eastern Europe, Conoco Inc. 1996 - 1999
Currently, General Manager UK Marketing - Petroplus Refining & Marketing



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