10 top global commodity trading firms: Smart money or bad boys?

The smart money typically are the men behind the curtain. Who are they and what do they do?


FY 2012 revenue: $ 89.03 billion

FY 2011 Revenues: $80.6 billion 

CEO: Patricia Woertz  

Founded: 1902 in Minneapolis, Minn., by John Daniels and George Archer 

Headquarters: Decatur, Ill., listed on the NYSE  

Focus: Oilseeds, corn processing, agricultural services, storage and transportation, wheat milling, cocoa processing and food ingredients business. Recently finalized a takeover of Australia-based GrainCorp for $3.1 billion. ADM Investor Services is a clearing member of the CME Group exchanges.

Bad behavior: Who hasn’t heard of the famous price fixing scheme of lysine and citric acid in the 1990s? ADM ended up paying a then-record of $100 million anti-trust fine. The story was captured on film in “The Informant!” in which ADM executive and whistleblower Mark Whitacre worked with the FBI to uncover price fixing. More recently ADM has been charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in which it was accused of bribing foreign officials. Reportedly, the firm has set aside $25 million in potential fines.

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