Barclays Commodities head said to quit for Mercuria

Banking losing personnel to trading as regulations tighten

Mercuria logo Mercuria logo

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Roger Jones resigned as global head of commodities at Barclays Capital and will join Mercuria Energy Trading SA, the latest person to quit banking and join a trading company or hedge fund as regulations tighten.

The departure of Jones, 46, was confirmed by a person with direct knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. His new role was confirmed by a source close to Mercuria, a closely held commodities trader based in Geneva, who also asked not to be named. Jones became head of commodities at Barclays in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Trafigura Beheer BV, RK Capital Management LLP and Mercuria hired commodities staff from banks after UBS AG lost its head of commodities, Jean Bourlot, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. closed its group trading commodities for the bank’s own account. Bank of America Corp. dismissed energy analysts to cut costs, two people with knowledge of the moves said.

“Roger Jones is the latest in a parade of top trading and executive commodity talent to abandon Wall Street for more lucrative pastures of hedge funds, independent traders and merchant commodity firms,” said George Stein, the managing director of Commodity Talent LLC, a recruitment company based in New York. “Regulatory restrictions on the large banks are prompting the exodus.”

Federal Reserve

JPMorgan and Bank of America are among banks that shut units trading the banks’ money in commodities because the Volcker rule will limit such practices. The rule, a provision of the Dodd-Frank law in 2010 and named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, who proposed it, bars U.S. bank holding companies with federally insured deposits from trading for their own accounts.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is also curbing the size of positions any one party can take in U.S. raw- materialderivatives.

Barclays became a top player with JPMorgan in the share of clients who use them for over-the-counter energy trades, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based Greenwich Associates survey of corporate treasury officials showed in March. First-quarter revenue from fixed-income, currencies and commodities rose 9 percent from a year earlier, Barclays said April 26.

Jones joined Barclays in 2002 from Deutsche Bank AG, where he was managing director and head of oil, U.S. natural gas and U.K./European power and gas trading, according to Barclays. Between 1991 to 1997, he was an oil trader at Phibro-Salomon, the predecessor to Phibro Trading LLC in Westport, Conn. From 1987 to 1991, Jones was an oil trader at Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., the largest closely held U.S. company.

Commodities Trader

Barclays replaced Jones with Mike Bagguley, the global head of foreign exchange, who will take on the additional responsibilities for commodities, said Seth Martin, a spokesman for the bank in New York. Bagguley, who has been with Barclays since 2001, has been managing foreign exchange at Barclays since 2010. Commodities and foreign exchange will continue to be run by separate senior-management teams, Martin said.

Jones was a managing director and head of commodities trading at Barclays. His career at the bank included responsibility for energy trading out of London, Singapore, New York and Tokyo, as well as European power and gas, coal freight, carbon emissions and metals trading. Barclays is one of 12 traders allowed on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, the world’s biggest metals market.

Bloomberg News

--Editors: Steve Stroth, Thomas Galatola

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