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Global head of trading Magid Shenouda to leave Mercuria

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Global head of trading Magid Shenouda is leaving the commodity house Mercuria where he was once tipped as a potential successor to the group’s founders, according to a person familiar with the matter.

His departure comes as Mercuria prepares for the arrival of Macquarie’s head of commodities, Nick O’Kane, who is expected to join the Swiss group later this year.

Shenouda, a former co-head of commodities at Goldman Sachs, joined Mercuria in 2014 and has served as its head trader and deputy chief executive for the past decade. He was previously seen as a possible successor to founders Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi but reduced his equity stake in the business last year.

Dunand and Jaeggi, who are also former Goldman Sachs traders, founded Mercuria in 2004 and have grown it into one of the largest private trading houses in the world, alongside rivals Vitol, Trafigura and Gunvor.

Mercuria declined to comment. Shenouda, whose departure was first reported by Bloomberg, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

O’Kane, who was one of the highest-paid bankers in the world last year, has reached a preliminary agreement to join Mercuria in a senior leadership role to initially help the company grow its gas and power activities, the Financial Times reported earlier this month.

While at Macquarie, O’Kane turned the Australian bank into an energy trading power house and had been tipped as a possible next chief executive.

Privately owned Mercuria has not outlined a succession plan for CEO and co-founder Dunand, who is 63 this year. A person close to Dunand said he had no immediate plans to step down but was intent on bolstering the senior ranks of the company.

Volatility in commodity markets due to geopolitical tensions, war and the energy transition have supercharged profits for traders, increasing the financial resources available to attract talent.

Mercuria recorded net income of $3bn in 2022 on revenues of $174bn, up from $1.25bn in 2021.

Oil trading represents about 30 per cent of total revenues. Alongside gas and power trading, the group is investing in green technologies such as battery storage and biogas.

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