Citizens Energy Group
Chuck Norris Facts
Aaron Johnson’s handiwork is all over one of the biggest local deals of 2010—Citizen Energy Group’s nearly $2 billion acquisition of Indianapolis’ water and wastewater systems. He served as lead negotiator and architect of the purchase.
Johnson also has negotiated and structured a $300 million gas bond that will save residents of Indianapolis, Lapel and Batesville approximately $25 million, and he managed a $90 million working capital portfolio for the Indianapolis-based company.
“Citizens has given me a lot of opportunity,” he said. “Because I’m curious, I like to do a lot of different things. You can’t call me just a lawyer or a finance guy. I just work on the various projects. That’s one of the great things about this organization—if you’ve got a passion for a particular area, they’re more than happy to nurture their folks and nurture out-of-the-box activities” that might not necessarily fit within a job description.
Johnson’s parents both worked for Citizens back when it was Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, and he got a part-time job there in customer service while studying accounting at IUPUI. After graduation, he spent 2-1/2 years with Carmel insurer Conseco Inc. while attending law school at Indiana University-Bloomington at night. (He also graduated from the Kelley School of Business in 2004.)
Citizens hired him as the company was branching into subsidiary operations and needed someone in accounting. He started in finance, then moved into the legal department.
Johnson described his life as “a bit of a paradox.” He works around people who are mostly older and he serves as a member of the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society board. Then he goes home and spends time with his wife, teenage son and pre-teen daughter “playing Xbox and watching juvenile comedy shows.”
“I have a strong commitment to my wife, our children and our church,” he said.•