What people are talking about:
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has hired 4 Commodity Managing Directors - Martyn Whitehead, Joe Arena, Bradley Campbell, and Yasmina Elshafei.
Investment banks such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have strengthened their metals trading businesses globally to cash in on the increased volatility in the market, this follows a trend of a number of global funds looking out for metals prop traders.
Tesla is said to have held talks regarding taking a stake in Glencore earlier in the year and was looking at buying 10-20% of the company according to the Financial Times.
Larger Chinese firms and groups want to leverage their assets outside the domestic market and look for new end users and suppliers via overseas outposts. This seems to be happening across the board from agricultural groups to base metals, steel raw materials, and financial services – which does seem correlated with the weakening Yuan situation and the trend of outflowing Chinese capital.
Despite the economic sentiment, there is still a high degree of mobility between talent from China and Singapore and vice versa, with several high-profile moves from the Singapore metals and agricultural segments into China-based organizations. Coupled with the interest that we have seen from Chinese businesses looking to internationalize as above, this may be worth highlighting as a growing trend.
Feed millers looking to bring on trading talent within their procurement functions has been an ongoing trend that has taken on greater importance considering the supply situations. I would not be surprised if this trend ripples downstream toward the larger end users themselves in bringing in their own traders to cover their shorts.
What we are currently working on:
Coal Trader, Philippines
India Coal Operator, Dubai/India
Commodities Portfolio Manager, Singapore
Copper Marketer, Shanghai
Japanese Carbon Business Development, Singapore / Tokyo
Head of Metals Trading, Singapore
FMGC Strategic Pricing Manager, Singapore
Global Head of Dairy Trading, flexible location
Commodities Product Control, Singapore
Grains and Oilseeds Trader, Singapore
Senior Legal Counsel – Commodities, Singapore
If you are interested in any of these roles, please reach out to us via the contact details at the end of this newsletter. Alternatively, click here for more jobs.
Current State of the Job Market
As identified in our earlier updates, the metals market shows a heavy undercurrent of activity despite price volatility, with a special focus on battery materials from both primary and secondary sectors. With limited supply and volatile supply chains, securing new sources from non-traditional geographies or breaking ground on new recycling facilities (such as what Ace Green or Attero have recently done) has been at the forefront of the news.
A growing trend across the board has been for participants within the hard commodities to grow closer to their downstream users, providing more value to their semi-refined and refined metals portfolios and allowing them greater optionality in branching out into niche segments of the markets.
This macro-trend of “growing closer to the consumer” has been observed in soft and agricultural commodities industries, particularly within the more food-friendly products such as dairy and coffee. Even across raw materials, efforts to move closer to B2B consumers in the farming and manufacturing sectors have also spurred significant growth in the container-based trading of feed and feed-ingredients. Previously disregarded as being too manpower intensive, not as rewarding as trading in bulk, and incredibly niche, market conditions have evolved to such that there may be significant margins to be had in trading boxes of specialized and niche products.
The strong global impetus for renewable business activity has not only been an underlying driver of such initiatives in metals but has obviously also been impacting the energy sector. The Asian carbon sector has historically not been an area with a deep candidate pool and with the ongoing activity, demand for experienced talent has only gotten stronger.
Overall we have noted that the talent landscape in Singapore and generally in Asia has become even shallower with a severe lack of mid-senior level individuals (with most either entrenched in their positions or having recently moved). Coupled with a stricter legislative environment around the hiring of foreign manpower, it has resulted in a severe shortage of experienced individuals across the commodities sector.
This may contribute to higher inducements required to move individuals to new roles, and may also contribute to further costs in retaining talent in the following years.
Director | Partner
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+65 3165 0710
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