RPT-Sugar kingpin Kingsman retires

Tue Aug 5, 2014 3:19am EDT

(Repeats AUG 4 story, no change to text)

* Kingsman established popular Dubai global conference

* Plans book on post Cuban revolution sugar industry

By David Brough

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Jonathan Kingsman, a former sugar trader who set up a widely read newsletter and ran international conferences, has retired almost two years after selling his company to Platts.

Kingsman, 57, built his own brokerage and analyst company, known as Kingsman SA, which he later sold to market information provider Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill.

"Kingsman became the first independent analyst for the sugar market, not connected to a trade house, and people thought that, having been a trader, he understood what information people wanted," David Sadler, a senior broker at ADM, said.

Kingsman became a de facto ambassador for the global sugar trade and was known for his ability to express complex market drivers in simple language.

His daily market comments were "must-read" pieces in the trade.

"Jonathan Kingsman was the living focal point of the global sugar business," said Jamal Al Ghurair, managing director of the Al Khaleej sugar refinery in Dubai, one of the largest in the world.

"He had his finger on the pulse of the sugar trade, and when people wanted to know what was going on, he was the first point of contact."

Kingsman helped establish a global sugar conference in Dubai, co-sponsored by Al Ghurair's Al Khaleej refinery, which quickly built up a strong following and has become the leading trade event on the calendar with several hundred participants annually.

"Kingsman's high standing due to his strong analytical skills - and his 'must-read' reports - led on to the 'must-attend' conferences," said James Kirkup, head of sugar brokerage at ABN AMRO in London.

Other Kingsman conferences followed.

"I feel that he gave a good service to the industry," Sadler said. "By starting the conferences he brought the sugar trade community closer together."

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT

Kingsman said his proudest achievement was the Dubai conference.

After graduating with an economics degree from Cambridge University, Kingsman worked as a trader for Cargill, including at the Minneapolis headquarters, where he learned his trade.

He set up his own company in France in 1990 and moved his office to Lausanne in 2006. He also served as a director of Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd, a leading Indian sugar refinery.

Kingsman, who became Platts' director of agriculture after his firm was acquired in 2012, said he will cease to write the daily reports for which he is best known but will still act as a consultant to Platts, speaking at some conferences.

He also plans to write a book about the sugar industry since the Cuban revolution.

Some market sources said privately they saw a risk that the Platts Kingsman conferences would lose momentum if Kingsman does not attend and that the daily Platts Kingsman reports would lose impact among the readership when he is no longer on board.

Thomson Reuters competes with Platts in providing news and information to commodity markets. (Editing by Jane Baird)

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