Strange commodities promotions at Morgan Stanley

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Despite cutting 25% of its headcount in fixed income trading, Morgan Stanley has shifted the balance of power towards its markets business in the latest round of managing director promotions. More sales and trading staff (27) were bumped up than those in advisory functions (26).

Some of this will be a need to steady the ship – when it’s cut a high number of managing directors, promoting high performers is a way to prevent an exodus. Nonetheless, two new appointments stand out for being unusual – oil traders.

Javier Bocos, who was promoted to head of oil-liquids trading for Europe and Singapore in 2014 after Nancy King was named head of its operation, was included in the 2016 MD promotions. As was Jeffrey Sun, the 31-year-old trader who heads up oil-liquids trading in the U.S.

Not only did Morgan Stanley shift the structure of its oil trading team in the wake of the sale of its global oil merchanting business to Castleton Commodities – admittedly while maintaining its oil trading division for clients – but commodities traders have been particularly badly hit by the latest rounds of cuts.

It closed its base metals trading business in the latest round of fixed income redundancies and commodities is said to be disproportionately hit by job losses. It has around 300 traders in the business globally.

Photo: boykpc/iStock/Thinkstock

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