Icap loses head of weather

Dan Tomlinson, head of weather derivatives at Icap, has left the London-based inter-dealer broker and joined WeatherXchange, a joint initiative between the UK’s Meteorological Office and Umbrella Brokers.

In his new role as sales and marketing manager for the online trading platform for weather derivatives, Tomlinson will report to Cindy Dawes, chief executive. He will be responsible for selling weather data sets that are used for structuring deals.

Also, Barbara Richardson will join WeatherXchange on January 1, also on the data provision side of the business. Richardson currently works at the UK Met Office where she sells data sets to energy firms and investment banks that structure weather derivatives.

Katleen De Cock, a weather and environmental derivatives broker at Icap, has been promoted to fill Tomlinson’s position, and said that she plans to hire a broker to fill her old position.

De Cock told RiskNews that although Enron’s collapse adversely affected the weather derivatives market for a few weeks, as many companies had to assess their exposure to the Houston-based trading company, activity is now picking up. This is because energy firms, in particular, are trying to replace weather risk contracts that were initially structured with Enron – previously a major player in the weather market.

De Cock added that Liffe’s launch of exchange traded weather futures, on December 10, could help boost liquidity in the embryonic weather risk market: “Over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange traded derivatives have existed side by side for years and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be the case in the weather sector too.”

At Liffe, however, there is hope that end-users will take advantage of the new exchange traded products. “Enron’s recent collapse means that people are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of exchange traded derivatives over OTC derivatives since Liffe’s weather futures contracts will be cleared by the London Clearing House, providing a safe and anonymous trading environment,” said Ian Dudden, director of non-financial products at Liffe.

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