March 14 Goldman Sachs' metals trader
David Freeland has left the U.S. investment bank just over a
year after being hired to build its physical copper book in
London, market sources said.
His departure is the strongest sign yet that the bank is
struggling to expand into the capital-intensive and high-risk
business perfected by commodity merchants Glencore and
A spokeswoman at Goldman in London declined to comment on
His resignation comes just months after the retirement of
Steve Branton-Speak who spearheaded the bank's march into
physical trading in 2010 in a bid to offset tighter regulation
that forced it to close its proprietary metals derivatives
Commodity revenues at leading Wall Street firms crashed last
year to their lowest on record, as tighter regulation and
limited price swings squeezed the once dominant traders of
Goldman, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley.
The decline is most stark at Goldman, where commodity
revenues collapsed by more than 60 percent year-on-year in 2012
to just $575 million, according to the bank's annual report.
Goldman hired Freeland from Trafigura in December 2011. It
hired Scott Evans from Mitsubishi in 2010 to trade aluminium,
the same year it bought warehousing company Metro.
Market sources have said the team has been hampered by a
lack of capital and bank bureaucracy, a big cultural shift for
the traders who joined from some of the world's biggest