February 8, 2019 / 12:55 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 2-Gunvor appoints new global co-heads of LNG trading -sources

* LNG trading division will have 2 global co-heads

* Moves follow other changes at Gunvor, restructuring

* Gunvor became biggest independent LNG trader last year

* Company no longer plans to close Bahamas crude trading office (Updates after company said it no longer plans to close its Bahamas office, adds details about Gunvor's LNG trading volume last year)

By Julia Payne

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Energy trader Gunvor Group has appointed two new global co-heads of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading division, sources familiar with the matter said.

The moves are the latest personnel changes at Gunvor, which became the biggest independent LNG trader last year after delivering about 11 million tonnes.

Kalpesh Patel, based in Singapore, and Ksenia Alleyne, based in Geneva, will jointly run the LNG trading desk for the Swiss firm.

Stephane Caudron, who has been the global head of LNG since 2009, will take on the role of global head of LNG business development out of Singapore.

Gunvor went through major restructuring last year which included the expansion of its executive board, job losses across the company and a new natural gas trading desk in London.

It had also flagged plans to close its Bahamas crude trading office in favour of its Houston base, but a company spokesman said on Friday that Gunvor no longer intends to close the Bahamas operation.

The restructuring was also aimed at promoting a new generation at the Geneva-based firm which was founded in 2000.

Some long-time Gunvor executives left, including the global head of crude Jose Orti who retired at the end of 2018. Stephane Dejenne then replaced Orti as the new global head of crude.

Separately, Geneva-based SOCAR Trading, part of Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, has hired two LNG traders - Daniel Stephens and Francesca di Cesare - from Koch Supply & Trading, a spokesman said. (Reporting by Julia Payne; writing by Nina Chestney; editing by Susan Fenton)

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