By Clara Ferreira-Marques
LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Glencore
has turned to its own internal talent for the team that
will run trader and miner Glencore Xstrata after the sector's
biggest takeover to date, according to a source familiar with
Of the dozen or so key divisional positions in the combined
company, only two will be filled by Xstrata personnel - Peter
Freyberg will continue to run coal mining, and Mark Eames will
take charge of the group's iron ore projects, the source said.
Despite the fact that commodities trading, Glencore's
traditional strength, is estimated to account for only just over
a quarter of 2014 profits for the combined group, Glencore will
keep the bulk of key divisions in its own hands after a string
of Xstrata departures.
The appointments - to be made public on Friday as Glencore
updates investors after completing the deal on Thursday - should
leave little doubt that what began as a "merger of equals" in
February last year has ended - after months of often tense
negotiating - as a takeover.
Glencore Xstrata's shares begin trading on Friday, but
analysts and investors have already turned to the challenge
Glencore will face in executing the $30 billion deal that
transforms the group into a mining and trading powerhouse.
In a letter to staff on Thursday, Glencore chief executive
and top shareholder Ivan Glasenberg hinted at shake-ups ahead in
both staff and group assets, not least among Xstrata's pipeline
of development projects that Glasenberg would like to trim down.
"We see scope to improve the efficiency of the group and
optimise the combined asset portfolio and growth pipeline for
the benefit of all stakeholders," said Glasenberg, who will be
chief executive of the combined group.
Among the key announcements to be made public on Friday,
Telis Mistakidis, Glencore's head of copper, will be appointed
to run both trading and mining for the red metal within the
combined group, the source said.
Copper accounted for more than half of Xstrata's profits
last year and the departure of Xstrata veteran Charlie Sartain
announced last month had raised questions about mining projects
such as Las Bambas, the Peruvian mine Glencore will now have to
sell to satisfy China's antitrust regulators.
Glencore's head of oil, Alex Beard, and the head of
agricultural products, Chris Mahoney, will keep their positions
in the combined group.
In coal, Glencore's Tor Peterson will remain in charge of
trading operations, while Xstrata's Freyberg - the only head of
a main division from that company to come over to the combined
group - will take on the mining side, the source said.
In zinc, another key commodity for the combined group,
Glencore's Daniel Mate will be in charge of trading, while the
mining operations will be run by another Glencore executive,
In a significant shift, Gary Nagle, the head of Glencore
coal business Prodeco for more than five years, will run the
combined group's ferroalloys mining operations, with Stuart
Cutler in charge of trading, the source said.
Iron ore trading, a key growth area for the group, remains
the preserve of Christian Wolfensberger of Glencore, while Mark
Eames, who ran Xstrata's iron ore development projects, will
take on mining operations, the source added.