Exclusive: Barclays loses commodities trading chief Jones to Mercuria

Fri May 4, 2012 7:31am EDT
 
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By Christopher Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays BARC.L has lost its commodities trading chief Roger Jones to Swiss trader Mercuria in one of the biggest moves by commodities traders from banks, scrutinized by regulators.

Dozens of traders have recently quit top commodities trading banks such as Barclays, Goldman Sachs GS.N, Morgan Stanley MS.N and Merrill Lynch BAC.N to traders such as Glencore GLEN.L, Vitol, Gunvor and Mercuria.

The outflow is driven by shrinking profits and tighter regulation of banking, which gives trading houses greater scope to trade and to reward success.

However, the departure of a figure of the caliber of Jones, who alongside Isabelle Ealet from Goldman Sachs and David Silbert from Deutsche Bank, is seen as one of the most prominent figures in commodities trading in Europe, is rare.

Barclays has been a star of commodities trading among European banks over the past decade but was overtaken by Deutsche last year after sharp losses in metals.

However, Barclays' fixed-income, currencies and commodities (FICC) trading results were up 9 percent in the first quarter with commodities trading on the rise.

"Barclays' underlying commodities business remains strong and well diversified," said a source close to Barclays. It is not yet clear who might replace Jones.

Jones will become the head of non-oil operations at Mercuria, a senior source close to the Swiss trading house said.   Continued...

 
Signage for Barclays bank in London February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor