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For Traders, Enron Background a 'Credential'

As its former leaders prepare to serve prison terms and its name continues as a punchline for late-night comedians, veterans of Enron Corp. are having no trouble landing new positions.

Or, as the Web site Dealbreaker.com puts it: "They're back from the dead. There are lots of them. And they are everywhere."

Within trading and commodities circles, time spent with Enron is often regarded as a high-quality credential, many say. "In the general population, there is an Enron stigma. In the trading community, there is Enron mystique," Vince Kaminski, once a quantitative expert at the firm, told The Wall Street Journal. Former Enron employees are at work with hedge funds and bulge bracket investment banks, often leading efforts in the very commodities markets the company once helped develop. These include natural-gas and power markets, emission credits and weather contracts.

Enron alumni have landed positions with Citigroup, Louis Dreyfus Energy Services, Constellation Energy Group Inc., and Tyson Foods, which has one running its commodity-trading and risk-management operations, the Journal said. BNP Paribas recently tapped former Enron Europe chief Paul Chivers to head a new specialist financing group within its global fixed income securitization business, according to Financial News.

"Employers look at having worked at Enron as a risk-management experience," Michael Karp, chief executive of recruiter the Options Group, said. "And they think people might have learned from the Enron mistake and those traders might have become better."

No word if anyone from Enron is working in compliance.

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