March 5, 2018 / 5:55 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-COFCO International names grain, oilseed heads in new shakeup

* Chinese-owned trader reorganises top management

* Former Bunge executive Bateson becomes grain chief

* EMEA head promoted to oilseed chief, Yang COO

* Latest shakeup as group pursues overseas growth (Adds details)

By Gus Trompiz and Jonathan Saul

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - COFCO International Ltd (CIL) named new global heads for grains and oilseeds as part of a new management shakeup at the Chinese-owned agricultural trading firm.

CIL, which is controlled by Chinese state-owned conglomerate COFCO Group, has been restructuring since launching last year to combine assets acquired overseas.

In a statement on Monday, CIL said it had appointed former Bunge executive Paul Bateson as global head of grains, and Marcelo Martins, previously its managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as global head of oilseeds.

Selina Yang, who was previously global head of grains and oilseeds, was named to a new role of chief operating officer, leading all regions and freight.

The appointments are effective immediately and all three will report to Johnny Chi, CIL’s CEO, the company said.

The trading firm also announced the creation of a “global asset management organisation”, led by Valmor Schaffer, formerly head of South America.

A CIL spokesman said the new division would oversee the group’s physical operating assets, and would not be an investment fund activity.

Before joining COFCO International in 2015, Schaffer was president of South America and country manager for Brazil at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

The company said the changes would reinforce its product and supply chain focus as it tries to expand internationally.

“We now begin 2018 with a solid organisational structure that reflects our priorities as a business and brings the right set of skills and experience to lead our development and growth for years to come,” Chi said in the statement.

After grappling with the integration of Rotterdam-based grain trader Nidera and the agribusiness of Singapore-listed Noble Group, CIL is aiming to vie with established multinational trading groups.

The so-called ABCDs which dominate the grain trade, ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, have been faced with reduced margins after several years of high supply, raising the prospect of industry consolidation.

The CIL spokesman added that Fernando Barreiro, formerly head of wheat and barley, had been named managing director for Europe, Black Sea and the Caribbean (EBSC).

Bateson, previously been managing director, global grains, at Bunge after more than a decade at the U.S.-based trading group, will be in charge of wheat, barley and corn at CIL.

Schaffer will retain responsibility for Brazil but Argentina head Alfonso Romero will take over responsibility for Uruguay and Paraguay, CIL said.

The firm has also hired high profile figures from the industry, with Pierre Lorinet, former chief financial officer at trade house Trafigura, and Serge Schoen, an ex-Louis Dreyfus chief executive, both joining its board last year. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz, Jonathan Saul, editing by Sybille de La Hamaide/David Evans)

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