October 21, 2011 / 3:45 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Goldman names co-heads of commodities trading

LONDON/NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs has signed Greg Agran and Magid Shenouda as global co-heads of commodities trading, following the retirement of Jeff Resnick, it said on Friday.

An internal memo, seen by Reuters and confirmed by the bank, says Agran joined the bank in 1991 and is currently head of U.S. natural gas and power trading and head of global commodities investing, based in New York.

Shenouda is currently head of European crude oil and products trading and European gas and power trading, and he joined Goldman Sachs in 1999, the memo said.

Resnick was the global head of commodities trading.

Goldman Sachs has long been viewed as the most influential bank in commodity markets with one of the largest trading and client-facing teams.

But since the financial crisis it has had its position at the top of the trading tree, alongside Morgan Stanley , threatened by the aggressive expansion of JP Morgan into the commodities trading space.

It reported it had scaled back the amount of money it had at risk in commodities in the third quarter.

Value at Risk (Var) in commodities, an industry measure of how much of the bank’s capital is at risk on any given trading day, fell back to just $25 million, the bank reported this week.

That was down from $39 million in the second quarter and $29 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Commodities usually account for a relatively small share of trading income at Wall Street banks, compared with equities, currencies and bonds.

But at Goldman and Morgan Stanley, they can make up as much as a tenth of their multi-billion dollar profits.

A close examination of Goldman and Morgan Stanley’s results by Reuters in July showed their quarterly commodity revenues shrank more often than they grew since 2008.

For a spreadsheet of banks’ commodity results:

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