Trafigura Group’s head of metals business development is leaving, the latest sign of the pressure facing the commodity trader’s metals unit even as the company as a whole notches up record profits.
(Bloomberg) — Trafigura Group’s head of metals business development is leaving, the latest sign of the pressure facing the commodity trader’s metals unit even as the company as a whole notches up record profits.
Simon Grenfell is leaving Trafigura after just over three and a half years in the role, according to his LinkedIn profile. The company has appointed Matthew Hadfield as its new global head of business development for metals, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Trafigura’s metals business, which competes with Glencore Plc for the title of the world’s number one metals trader, has been struggling over the past eighteen months. Its operating profit fell sharply in the second half of its last financial year, it was hit by losses related to a nickel fraud revealed in February, and it’s also facing cost overruns at one of its flagship investments, a cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Grenfell is the latest in a series of metals executives to depart who, while below the level of co-heads Gonzalo De Olazaval and Kostas Bintas, were nonetheless senior figures in the trading house. Socrates Economou, the head of nickel and cobalt trading, left the company after Trafigura discovered it had lost nearly $600 million in the alleged nickel fraud, while head of metals operations Svetlana Kabanova also departed this year.
Grenfell is a former banker who previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Natixis SA, as well as at Sanjeev Gupta’s Wyelands Capital Ltd., according to his LinkedIn profile.
Hadfield was previously co-head of lead and zinc at Trafigura before the team was reshuffled earlier this year and he moved to a business development role. He previously worked at ICBC Standard Bank and Kyen Resources.
Grenfell referred questions to a Trafigura spokesperson, who declined to comment on his departure.
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