Commodities traders have only been heading in one direction lately – out of investment banks. Major firms have been cutting back headcount, or pulling out of commodities altogether, and those that escape have often headed towards physical trading houses.
The exception, at least among the large investment banks, is Citigroup. It’s been hiring while others have been firing, and has just managed to snag a senior trader from a trading house. Jose Marza has joined the bank as head of cross-commodities structured trading for EMEA, according to sources close to the situation.
Marza is ex-head of Continental power trading at Deutsche Bank, which he left in May after six years. Most recently, for a short six-month stint, he held the same position at physical commodities trading merchant Freepoint Commodities before joining Citi in December.
Citigroup is betting on commodities, looking to add market share and bolster revenues, while rivals like Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have scaled back. Last year, it added four people to its London power and gas team, including Branko Pribicevic, who joined from energy trading firm Vitol. It plans to add more headcount this year and could capitalise on the fall out from other investment banks.
Citigroup declined to comment on the appointment.
A number of banking commodities salesmen and traders have joined trading houses in recent months, including Georges Tijbosch, co-head of EMEA commodities sales at JPMorgan, who joined Centrica in November and Michael Ludwig, who left Standard Chartered for Sirius Commodities.
However, Citi, Macquarie and, reportedly, Wells Fargo and BTG Pactual are among the banks still looking to build out their commodities divisions.