Mercuria Taps One of World’s Highest-Paid Bankers for Senior Role

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Onshore wind turbines and the HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal, operated by HES International BV, in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The inauguration of the Wilhelmshaven LNG Terminal this Saturday will mark an important step for Germany, which has been dependent on Russian pipeline gas for decades and suffered severely since the shipments have stopped this year. Photographer: Liesa Johannssen/Bloomberg

Mercuria Energy Trading SA is hiring one of the world’s highest-paid bankers as the global commodities trading house taps external talent to bolster its top ranks.

Nick O’Kane is set to join Mercuria, according to people familiar with the situation. The former Macquarie Group Ltd. commodities head would get a senior role and focus on building out Mercuria’s already sizable gas and power portfolio as part of a yet-to-be formalized preliminary agreement. O’Kane wasn’t initially available for comment.

O’Kane, who built Macquarie’s commodities business into a trading juggernaut, unexpectedly quit in February after 28 years in the firm. His A$57.6 million ($37.6 million) pay for the financial year through March 2023 surpassed that of top executives at major US banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon and Citigroup Inc.’s Jane Fraser.

The hire comes as Mercuria and other top commodity merchants are starting to look at passing on front line leadership to a younger generation. Mercuria’s co-founders Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi are both in their 60s, although one of the people familiar said were no plans for either to pull back from the business. 

Its head trader, Magid Shenouda, once considered a potential successor to the co-founders, significantly reduced his equity stake in 2023, which indicated a possible shift in the company’s leadership dynamics.

The company has in recent years been bolstering its leadership team with external hires including former BP Plc head of M&A Robert Lawson in 2023. O’Kane’s appointment was first reported by the Financial Times. 

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Archie Hunter , Nour Al Ali


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