Tristan Busch, the former head of metals and concentrates at Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., has founded his own firm to trade industrial metals.
Zopco SA, based in Geneva, has been registered with commerce authorities in Switzerland this week, according to a filing. It will focus on non-ferrous concentrates and metals, Busch said in e-mailed comments to Bloomberg News.
“We are especially interested in long-term offtake contracts, in some cases linked to pre-payment,” he said.
The company, also with plans for an office in South Africa, is entering the industry amid rising competition from new entrants. Stamford, Connecticut-based Castleton Commodities International LLC hired Peter Sellars, former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s metals business, to lead its metals trading arm.
Hartree Partners LP, the commodity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. energy traders, is also expanding into industrial metals.
Busch left Mercuria in June after less than a year with the company. He was previously the global head of refined metals at Trafigura Beheer BV and the trading house’s head of aluminum business.
Metals veteran David Day is also a shareholder and partner in Zopco. Day is a director of Liverpool-based Scale Distribution Ltd., a warehouse company co-owned by Macquarie Group Ltd., filings with the U.K.’s Companies House show.
Busch said Zopco is pleased with a positive welcome from banks and financial institutions keen to work with the firm.
Ownership and control of the industry is being shaken up as the balance of power shifts eastward to China. Busch’s former employer Mercuria is poised to sell a 51 percent stake in its 220-year-old warehousing business Henry Bath & Son Ltd. to state-controlled Chinese logistics company CMST Development Co.
Source : Bloomberg, By Agnieszka de Sousa and Andy Hoffman