Mercuria hires four for carbon desk, more expected

LONDON (Reuters) - Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., one of the world’s top five independent oil traders, is expanding its carbon emissions trading desk with four new hires, including a former emissions exchange CEO, the company said on Monday.

“Our target is to be one of the world’s largest and most active carbon emissions traders,” Mercuria Energy President Marco Dunand said in a statement.

Among the additions to desk is Andrei Marcu, former head of French emissions exchange BlueNext and president of an emissions trading lobby group.

“Andrei will be helping us find new clients and monitor regulatory developments,” said a Mercuria spokesman.

Franck Bernard, formerly a carbon origination manager at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, will also join Mercuria, as well as two others.

The spokesman said more hires are expected as Mercuria hopes to grow the team to at least 10 people by year’s end.

Most of the team will be based in Geneva, though the company will also have representatives in Beijing and Houston, he added.

“We’re opening a new office in Houston by the end of the year, which will be significant for us in trading a variety of different products,” the spokesman said.

Mercuria said it intends to build alliances with carbon aggregators, and through them originate carbon offsets as it “moves part of its business further up the supply chain.”

Several trading firms are expanding their emissions desks in anticipation of a new global climate agreement followed by a U.S. cap-and-trade market.

Mercuria also expanded its coal desk in July.

Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by Anthony Barker