Energy Risk Asia Awards 2020: The winners

BNP Paribas wins top derivatives award, with Macquarie scooping environmental products house 


No matter what sector or region a company operates in, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. But for Asia-based commodity traders it’s been exceptionally challenging. As Covid-19 brought national lockdowns, logistical chaos and unprecedented demand shocks, commodity producers, consumers and traders found themselves at the centre of a perfect storm and the risk management playbook was tested to the limit.     

“Just being able to stay on top of what was happening, physically and financially and identify the necessary adjustments was a struggle at the start of the year,” says a trader at an Asia-based commodity firm. “Things were changing so fast, and quite frankly, it was chaotic.”  

Managing new and extreme operational risks became a matter of urgency as the traditional trade flows of commodities were thrown into confusion. Every area of the supply chain was stressed from, for example, sourcing parts for equipment that might usually be purchased from China, to sending goods to market. Cratering demand and record price volatility had an enormous impact on cashflow and mark-to-markets. A string of Asia-based commodity trader bankruptcies highlighted the extent of the challenges and propelled credit risk to the top of agendas. The importance of prudent and robust risk management was never more evident.

For many risk managers this involved revisiting processes around monitoring, for example increasing the timing and frequency of stress-testing, changing the parameters of models and carrying out more scenario modelling. But many firms were also in need of external help in the form of hedge restructuring services, execution services in illiquid markets and refinancing.  

At this time, the relationships firms had with their clearers, banks, brokers and technology firms were more important than ever.  

This year’s Energy Risk Asia awards offer many examples of firms being especially responsive to their clients’ new needs, moving swiftly to enable, for example, timely execution, providing liquidity where necessary and offering innovative collateral solutions.

As well as the global pandemic, another area of extreme change that the energy industry faces is the transition to the low carbon economy. Many of this year’s winners are leaders in managing and mitigating climate change risk and are helping bring about the colossal change in investment that’s needed to carry out the energy transition.

As always, picking the winners was extremely difficult. Energy Risk asked candidates to submit detailed information on their businesses, and most shortlisted firms were interviewed off the record. Feedback was then gathered from clients and other market participants. The final decisions were made by Energy Risk reporters.

The profiles of our winners will be posted below between November 16 and December 16.

Advisory firm of the year, Asia: Baringa Partners

Climate risk advisory of the year, Asia: PwC

Commodities exchange of the year, Asia: Shanghai International Energy Exchange

Commodities research house of the year, Asia: Marex Spectron

Deal of the year, Asia: CTBC Bank

Newcomer of the year, Asia: BPI Financial

CTRM software house of the year, Asia: Enuit 

Data and analytics house of the year, Asia: OilX

Innovation of the year, Asia: Freight Investor Services

Trading Platform of the year, Asia: Bloomberg

Technology advisory of the year, Asia: KWA Analytics 

Base metals house of the year, Asia: BNP Paribas

Commodities broker of the year, Asia: BNP Paribas

Commodity derivatives house of the year, Asia: BNP Paribas

Electricity house of the year, Asia: Macquarie Group

Energy and commodity finance house of the year, Asia: Societe Generale

Environmental products house of the year, Asia: Macquarie Group

Freight derivatives house of the year, Asia: Macquarie Group

Iron ore house of the year, Asia: Theme International Trading

Oil & products house of the year, Asia: Bank of China International


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