LONDON Dec 24 Brazilian investment bank Grupo
BTG Pactual SA will step up its expansion in
commodities and add about 100 more staff in London, a person
familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The Sao Paulo-based bank already has about 100 staff in the
British capital and has taken another floor at its office there,
which will serve as its commodities arm's headquarters.
The roughly 100 additional employees will mostly work in
commodities, although the company is also expected to continue
expanding in asset management and investment banking, the source
The bank, controlled by billionaire financier André Esteves,
has this year made a bold push into the global commodity markets
just as other banks bow out, betting it can avoid the regulatory
pressure rattling rivals.
U.S. lawmakers and regulators have stepped up scrutiny of
Wall Street's giants over their physical commodity operations,
forcing banks including Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan
to pull out or shrink their commodities business.
But privately owned BTG Pactual has forged ahead with a $300
million-plus expansion plan that has taken the industry by
storm. It hired former Noble Group chief executive Ricardo
Leiman to lead the drive and hired traders, managers and
analysts in London, Geneva and New York to cover everything from
freight to grains to natural gas.
The bank sees opportunities to grab business left by rivals
and to build on its strong position in Brazil, one of the
world's major commodities countries.
BTG declined to comment.
Its expansion stands out in an industry that has seen
attrition from big banks over the past several years as firms
have been squeezed by lower margins, higher capital requirements
and growing political and regulatory scrutiny of the role of
banks in the natural resources supply chain.
Deutsche Bank had been one of the top five banks in
commodities but this month pulled the plug on the trading
business, cutting 200 jobs.
Smaller player UBS had already pulled back, and big
commodities rivals JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are in the
process of selling out from commodities trading. Barclays
has cut its division by a fifth.
BTG Pactual, formed in 2009 when Esteves' Bank and Trading
Group acquired UBS Pactual, is branching out as part of a
broader push to diversify its revenue base, which is mostly
driven by its trading unit and asset management business.