Trafigura Group announced a shakeup in its senior ranks as the commodities trading giant wrestles with with the future of its metals business, which was hit by a massive alleged nickel fraud earlier this year.
(Bloomberg) — Trafigura Group announced a shakeup in its senior ranks as the commodities trading giant wrestles with with the future of its metals business, which was hit by a massive alleged nickel fraud earlier this year.
The company reorganized its most senior cadre of management under a new, slimmed-down executive committee that will be led by Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Weir and executive director Jose Larocca, it said in a statement.
Trafigura’s senior traders have been jostling for position as the company faces the end of a period of management stability with the upcoming retirement of Mike Wainwright, who with Weir and Larocca formed part of the top trio who have run the company for almost a decade. The changes also come at a time of heightened tensions between Trafigura’s energy and metals businesses, as a series of losses and missteps in metals contrast with record profits being churned out by its oil and gas traders.
Read: Trafigura Wrestles With Future of Metals Unit After Losses
Ben Luckock — who previously ran oil trading alongside Larocca and Hadi Hallouche — has now been named the sole head of oil. Gonzalo De Olazaval — previously co-head of metals with Kostas Bintas — will be head of metals, minerals and bulk commodities. Richard Holtum, the head of gas and power, adds renewables to his portfolio.
The changes mean that a clear majority of Trafigura’s executive committee now come from an energy trading background, where previously there was a balance between metals and energy executives. Emma Stroud, the new chief operating officer, previously ran the energy and bulks deals desk, while Ignacio Moyano, who was named as Trafigura’s first ever chief risk officer, was previously head of oil in Asia.
Trafigura has been exploring a range of potential deals involving the metals business as it weighs the future of the unit, Bloomberg reported on the weekend. The alleged nickel fraud has cost the trading house almost $600 million, while it has also been forced to seek new funding for one of its flagship investments — a $600 million copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo — after it ran into a cash crunch.
Among those who were previously part of Trafigura’s management committee but no longer in the new executive committee are Bintas, who will continue to be responsible for copper and aluminum; Hallouche, who will continue as CEO of Trafigura’s fuel stations business Puma Energy; Jesus Fernandez, the head of mergers and acquisitions; and Julien Rolland, who continues as head of strategic projects.
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