Now Goldman Sachs bankers are joining commodities trading houses too
After a year of the sort of crazy volatility that leads to either fortune or ruin, commodities trading houses are adding bankers to their investment teams – seemingly, to green up their businesses.
Mercuria, the Swiss-based commodities trader, has hired an executive director from Goldman Sachs. Luke Woodard joined the group in Geneva as an investment manager after 12 years in banking with JPMorgan, Evercore, and, most recently, Goldman. He spoke on social media about his excitement for “the opportunity to help accelerate the energy transition.”
Mercuria isn't just hiring bankers for its investment team -it's also building out its inhouse M&A business. In December, for example, it hired BP’s former head of M&A, Robert Lawson. Lawson was in his role for ten years and oversaw some of BP's landmark renewables acquisitions.
Rival houses are also hiring bankers for investment operations. Sam Wignall joined Vitol in October. A former Macquarie VP (with the green investment team), Wignall is also working in renewables; he contributed to Vitol’s acquisition of a renewable energy platform in Poland. In July, it also hired Richard Beard, an analyst in Rothschild's energy and power team, as an investments associate.
It’s not just bankers moving, either. Mercuria has added quants from around the world in the past year, including data scientist Jalel Zghonda from Firmenich, a Swiss chemical manufacturer. Martin Bohdal and Tzyy Shyang Tong joined as quantitative strategists from insurer AXA and hedge fund Equiti Capital. Bohdal joined Mercuria in Geneva, and Tong joined the firm in London.
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