LONDON, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Gunvor has hired a senior veteran oil trader, David Garza, previously with BP L> and most recently U.S. oil refiner Tesoro, to run its U.S. operations as the Swiss trading house further expands in North American energy markets.
Gunvor began building its U.S trading operations last year, expanding outside its core markets in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The company initially focusing on refined products and natural gas but this year has hired several traders to launch a crude oil desk in Houston, Texas, and beefed up its Canadian trading desk.
Garza will start in September as the new managing director for Gunvor USA, based in Houston, a Gunvor spokesman said.
He will replace Francois Ostinelli, who will retire after helping set up Gunvor's U.S. operations and hiring more than 30 employees in offices in Houston and Stamford.
Garza was at BP for 24 years, including managing BP's crude oil trading in the United States, Canada and Latin America between 2006-2014. That included all of BP's exposure to the global WTI book - at the time BP's largest crude book, according to Garza's LinkedIn page.
Garza says on his page his team was marketing at the time 500,000 barrels of equity crude oil per day and generating record trading with 25 percent growth per year.
After leaving BP in 2014, Garza served as vice president for crude oil supply and trading at Texan-based refiner Tesoro, now called Andeavor Corporation. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov, Catherine Ngai and Julia Payne; Editing by Greg Mahlich)