Goldman hires new co-head of commodities trading

Bank taps Mercuria's US power and gas head for senior role

Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs, New York

Goldman Sachs has hired Mercuria's Jeremy Taylor as a partner and co-head of global commodities trading, according to an internal memo obtained by and confirmed by a spokesperson for the bank.

Taylor will join Goldman Sachs in August and work alongside Ed Emerson, who is set to become the bank's other co-head of global commodities trading, the memo says.
Both men will be based in New York and report to Greg Agran, head of commodities.
Taylor had worked at Mercuria since 2009, where he was head of US power and gas.
He left in May, according to a source close to the Switzerland-based commodities
trading house.

Prior to that, he was head of North American commodities trading for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He began his career at Kansas-based Koch Industries in 1995.
Emerson was named Goldman's global head of oil and products trading last year. He joined the bank in 1999 as an analyst, and was promoted to managing director in 2008 and partner in 2012.

"With their complementary backgrounds, Jeremy and Ed will focus on advancing our position as the market-leading franchise at this critical stage in the commodity cycle," the memo says.

Taylor's resignation from Mercuria follows other senior exits from the trading house. Brent Trefz, its former head of physical natural gas trading for the US and Mexico, left in April. He has joined Wells Fargo as a physical gas trader.

Mercuria declined to comment.

Price reporting guru Montepeque joins Eni

Eni Trading & Shipping (ETS), the London-based trading arm of Italian multinational oil and gas firm Eni, hired Jorge Montepeque in May as a senior vice-president of origination.

A spokesperson for Eni confirmed Montepeque’s appointment, but declined to comment further.

Montepeque, based in London, is best known as the creator of the market-on-close (MOC) technique, used by New York-based price-reporting agency Platts to publish price assessments for North Sea Brent crude oil and numerous other commodities.

A native of Guatemala, Montepeque moved to the US and joined Platts in 1988. In 2002, he was promoted to global head of market reporting and resettled in London.
In 2014, he won an Energy Risk Lifetime Achievement Award  for his role in developing and promoting the MOC process. He left Platts late last year.

ETS, which employs 400 people around the world, trades crude oil, refined products, natural gas, power and environmental products. It is currently working to develop its presence in the main trading centres of London, Houston and Singapore.

Montepeque is expected to assist with the unit’s strategy by drawing on his experience in commodity markets to build relationships with clients, says a source close to the firm.

BNP Paribas hires ex-Mercuria trader

Benno Guenther, former London-based head of structured products and options trading at Mercuria, has rejoined his former employer, BNP Paribas, in a similar role. The French bank confirmed Guenther had joined in April.

Guenther originally worked at BNP Paribas as a London-based equity derivatives trader between 2006 and 2007. He then took a job with JP Morgan, where he held various positions over the next six years, most recently as head of power and gas structured products and options trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In 2014, Guenther joined Mercuria when the Switzerland-based commodities trading house acquired JP Morgan’s physical commodities business. He quit Mercuria late last year, according to a source familiar with the situation.

EDF Trading rehires top derivatives trader

morgane-trieu-cuot-edf-tradingEDF Trading, the London-based trading arm of French multinational utility EDF, has rehired Morgane Trieu-Cuot (pictured) as its head of derivatives trading. The firm confirmed the appointment, which will be effective in June, in a statement.

Trieu-Cuot initially joined EDF Trading in 2004, and spent more than a decade at the firm as a senior energy derivatives trader, helping to develop its flexible asset services business, which structures risk management solutions for energy assets owned by EDF, as well as third-party customers. She left the firm in August 2015, to join BP as a London-based senior cross-commodity trader.

Trieu-Cuot will be based in London and report to Marcello Romano, EDF Trading’s head of trading for Europe. Her responsibilities will include pricing and modelling methodology, derivatives trading and strategy.

US refined products trader exits Barclays

Steven He, an assistant vice-president of US refined oil products trading at Barclays in New York, left the bank in April after nearly five years, according to a source familiar with the situation.

While at Barclays, He was responsible for distillates, gasoline and fuel oil trading, the source says. The trader is believed to be joining Switzerland-based Vitol following his departure.

A Vitol spokesperson was unable to confirm He’s appointment after checking the company’s internal directory.

Barclays declined to comment.

In 2014, the UK bank announced a major retreat from the commodity markets, retaining a presence only in precious metals, oil derivatives, US natural gas derivatives and index products. It has since suffered a rash of departures, including Troy Black, head of commodities sales for the Americas, who left last year for Wells Fargo.

ABN commodities head quits to start fintech fund

Jan-Maarten Mulder, the global head of commodities at ABN Amro, is set to leave the Dutch bank in June to start his own venture capital fund, an ABN spokesperson says.

Mulder is said to be exiting the commodities sector to invest in financial services technology.

Before joining ABN Amro in 2013, Mulder worked as global head of corporate finance for Netherlands-based global commodity trading house Trafigura.

Former NRG chief Crane joins private equity firm

david-crane-pegasusPegasus Capital Advisors, a New York-based private equity firm, announced in April that it had hired David Crane, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of NRG Energy.

Crane, who was president and CEO of New Jersey and Texas-based NRG between 2003 and 2015, was pushed out by his board of directors in December amid investor dissatisfaction with the company’s financial performance.

An outspoken advocate of green energy and the need for traditional utilities to reinvent themselves, Crane had pursued a renewables-heavy strategy at NRG, investing in residential solar and making substantial acquisitions in wind power. Before joining the US power company, he worked for UK-based generation firm International Power, now part of France’s Engie, and Lehman Brothers.

At Pegasus, Crane will work on projects related to sustainable distributed energy, the private equity firm said in an April 22 statement. He will report to Pegasus CEO Craig Cogut.

Noble hires ex-Glencore LNG originator

Hong Kong-based commodities trading house Noble Group hired Lou Montilla as its London-based head of origination for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in April, according to a source close to the firm. The appointment comes as Noble rebuilds its LNG desk following the departure of two co-heads earlier this year.

Previously, Montilla worked for Switzerland-based commodity trading house Glencore, but left in recent months. He was with Morgan Stanley before joining Glencore in 2013.

In his new role at Noble, Montilla will report to Gareth Griffiths, the company’s London-based global head of power and gas. He will work on long-dated origination and business development initiatives, with a focus on structured products and new markets, says the source.

Noble and Glencore declined to comment.

Citi loses one natural gas trader, gains another

In recent weeks, Citi hired Rob Famulare as head of natural gas trading, based in Houston, says a source close to the firm. He joins from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Meanwhile, JW Boyden resigned from his position as a Houston-based Nymex natural gas trader at Citi, according to the source.

Citi declined to comment. 

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