Swiss Shock Means Patriotic Trader Looks Elsewhere to Hire Staff

(Bloomberg) by Andy Hoffman and Zoe Schneeweiss – Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. is among Swiss commodity traders considering expansion elsewhere after the central bank shocked markets by ending a cap on the currency. “We have to constantly consider, to remain competitive, where to add jobs and where to replace them,” co-founder Marco Dunand said in an interview. “I would be surprised if we increased the amount of employees we have in Switzerland.” Mercuria, which has its largest trading operation in Geneva, is growing faster than peers, with an $800 million deal to buy parts of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s physical commodity trading unit last year and a global staff totaling about 1,300. The Swiss National Bank (SNBN)’s decision to stop intervening in the currency markets, resulting in the franc jumping more than 20 percent against the euro, raises costs for the world’s fourth-largest independent oil trader by about $10 million a year, according Dunand, a former Goldman Sachs & Co. trader whose ancestors lived in the Geneva area since the early 1400s. Switzerland’s commodity trading industry, generating about 20 billion francs ($23 billion) a year or about 3.5 percent of the economy, was sideswiped by the central bank. The … continue reading

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