LONDON, July 28 One of Morgan Stanley's top diesel traders, Christoph Schaefer, has left the bank to join Germany's Mabanaft, four oil industry sources said on Monday.
Schaefer, a managing director in Morgan Stanley's oil trading business, which is one of the biggest players in diesel, jet fuel and other distillate markets, will start at Mabanaft in three months' time, one of the sources said.
After joining the bank in 2007, Schafer rose to run the bank's distillate oil operations in London and was known as one of the most important traders in the market. "Every time you saw Vitol and Morgan Stanley battling it out in the trenches, that was him," one European trader said.
"He is one of the biggest in the distillates market."
Morgan Stanley's merchant energy arm, the biggest physical oil trading operation on Wall Street, is being sold to Russia's national oil champion Rosneft, and has seen a number of recent departures.
Tensions between Western powers and Russia over the Ukraine crisis have raised question marks over the deal, though the bank has said it remains on course to be completed later this year.
A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on Monday. No-one at Mabanaft could immediately be reached for comment.
Schaefer's departure was first reported by industry publication SparkSpread. (Reporting by David Sheppard and Ron Bousso in London, with Anna Sussman in New York; Editing by David Holmes)