By Josephine Mason
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs' senior physical metals trader Scott Evans has left the U.S. investment bank in New York, becoming the second high-profile member of the physical base metals team to depart since mid-March, sources told Reuters.
His exit comes almost three years after he was hired to set up the bank's physical base metals trading desk. The foray into physical trading was part of the bank's efforts to offset tighter regulation after being forced to close its proprietary metals derivatives operation.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.
Copper trader David Freeland quit the bank's London desk last month and is moving to commodity trading house Noble , sources said.
Noble declined to comment.
The departure of a founding member of the desk is another sign that Wall Street's No. 1 bank for commodities is struggling to expand into the capital-intensive and high-risk business dominated by commodity merchants Glencore and Trafigura .
Last year, commodity revenues at the bank, one of the world's largest traders of metal derivatives, sank by more than 60 percent year-on-year to just $575 million.
Banks have also faced increased competition from new entrants, such as energy-focused merchants, including Vitol and Mercuria, that have swooped into the metals space spying better returns than in oil.
Evans joined from Mitsubishi in the summer of 2010 just months after the bank bought warehousing company Metro for about half a billion dollars.
Peter Goertzen in London, who also was hired from Mitsubishi in 2010, and Jeff Romanek in New York are the two remaining traders.