Commodities moves: New Asia head for LCH

Birchall to head LCH Asia, Govender leaves Eskom, and more

Kate Birchall

LCH has appointed Kate Birchall (pictured) as its Asia-Pacific head, effective October 15. Birchall’s responsibilities will include overseeing the central counterparty’s over-the-counter derivatives operations in Sydney and Tokyo. Based in Sydney, she will report to Martin Pluves, chief executive of LCH Ltd, the group’s UK entity. Birchall will move over from National Australia Bank, where she headed portfolio optimisation and collateral. In her new role, Birchall will replace Marcus Robinson, who is now head of group business development. Robinson is based in London and reports to Daniel Maguire, LCH chief executive.

Govender latest to leave Eskom

Thava Govender, acting group executive for risk and sustainability at the South African generator Eskom, has resigned and will leave the company at the end of October, Eskom announced on October 15. Govender is also group executive for generation; he took over the sustainability role in April 2015 after the resignation of Steve Lennon.

The state-owned utility has seen several high-level departures in recent months, since the appointment of a new board of directors in January 2018. Johnny Dladla, chief executive of Eskom’s Rotek construction and maintenance subsidiary, and previously acting chief executive of Eskom, resigned on October 8, and Eskom also suspended its head of assurance and forensics, Molefi Nkhabu, on October 4 pending an investigation by its internal audit department. Head of legal and compliance Suzanne Daniels was dismissed on July 6 after a disciplinary hearing.  

Govender took on the generation portfolio after the resignation of Matshela Koko in February 2018, also in response to an internal investigation. However, the suspended group executive for group capital, Abraham Masango, was cleared by an April disciplinary inquiry of charges of misconduct. Since the appointment of the new board, Eskom has named a new chief executive, Phakamani Hadebe, and a new chief operating officer, Jan Oberholzer; the post of chief financial officer remains vacant.

Louis Dreyfus loses CEO and CFO

Netherlands-based agricultural giant Louis Dreyfus lost its chief executive and chief financial officer simultaneously on September 25. CEO Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena resigned “to pursue other opportunities”, the company said – he will be replaced by chief strategy officer Ian McIntosh. Armand Lumens, the CFO, left “for personal reasons” and was replaced by deputy CFO and group controller Federico Cerisoli.

CFTC picks two advisory sponsors

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has named commissioner Dawn Stump as sponsor for its global markets advisory committee and commissioner Dan Berkovitz as sponsor for the energy and environmental markets advisory committee. Stump takes over from commissioner Rostin Behnam, and Berkovitz succeeds CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo. The advisory committees include academics, trading platforms, banks, asset managers, industry lobbying groups and consumer advocates, and exist to advise the CFTC on regulation affecting their specialist areas.

New chair for Hong Kong SFC

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has appointed Tim Lui Tim-leung chairman for a term of three years. Lui will succeed Carlson Tong, who is stepping down having chaired the regulator for six years. Lui was a former tax partner at PwC and is currently a senior adviser at the accounting firm. He will leave his advisory role before taking up the chairman post at the SFC.

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