Significant talent moves

Talent search and competitive intelligence specialists


The moves in the world of power this month start with with the news that British electricity generation assets aggregator Flexitricity has appointed Simon Heyes as its new CEO. Simon brings over 20 years of experience in renewable energy, having previously served at Infinis as Director-Wind Energy Development and Construction. That followed a renewables project developer role with Scottish & Southern, during which SSE started constructing what was then Europe’s largest onshore wind farm.

Jamie Nutt leaves GP Global Group London, where he was a trading manager, to become Advisor in Trading and Hedging for Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) in Dubai. He has traded oil and derivatives for Eon, Klesch and Centrica Energy.

There’s a trio of recruits to report for EDF Trading in the UK. Bernd Goedde, appointed Head - Short Term Flex & PPA Trading, was previously Uniper’s head of options and structured trading in Düsseldorf after more than 11 years with Vattenfall. Now an energy trader at EDF, Lloyd Dixon joins from trading with SSE in Scotland. Then there's Benjamin Turner, made Senior Originator - Export PPA upon joining from clean-power outfit Good Energy.



*Based on moves of data scientists tracked by Commodity Appointments in last 12 months.


*Based on moves of data scientists tracked by Commodity Appointments in last 12 months.

There are three senior appointments in the team building process taking place at Sembcorp Energy UK, the integrated energy player created in September as part of Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries attempt to bring former Sembcorp Utilities UK and UK Power Reserve businesses under a single brand. Nomi Ahmad of Sembcorp Industries UK had already been named to head the new entity and he is now joined by Cathy McClay, who becomes Head of Strategy, Policy and Regulation. Most recently she was Head of Future Markets for Britain’s National Grid ESO and previously held roles with the National Grid and with EDF. Günther Puffer will oversee wholesale market operations, including trading and origination, as Head of Merchant.  He was formerly Value Delivery Director with Origami Energy and previously held positions with Statkraft UK, RWE Supply & Trading and Commerzbank. Meanwhile Dr. Tim Foster --- former Head of UK Services for ElectroRoute and who has also worked with Statkraft, Smartest Energy, British Energy and BG Group --- comes in as Head of Origination.

Goldwind Australia (a subsidiary of Goldwind, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer) has announced the appointment of Thomas Schmitz as Head of Trading, Wholesale Markets and Commercial Analytics responsible for PPAs and Green Products. Before his return to Australia, Thomas' previous positions included five years as Director Sales EEX Group in London before moving to Singapore also with EEX in order to manage its global commodities team.

Mercedes Bernal advances at Uniper Düsseldorf from Portfolio Manager - Continental Europe to Head of Asset and Structured Contract Operations. Originally in Germany with Spain’s Icex economic and commercial bureau, Mercedes then held trading, analysis and portfolio management roles for Eon before joining Uniper in 2016.

Promotion for Jeremy Low at BMO Capital Markets in London. He moves up to be both Co-Head - Investment Banking and Head of Energy - EMEA from three years of heading the EMEA energy portfolio. Before that, Jeremy had been successively at Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank in oil and gas/energy investment banking and then in a similar role for the London arm of Toronto’s RBC Capital Markets.

From heading sales of renewables for British company SmartestEnergy, Chris Smith switches to energy PPA marketplace Renewable Exchange in the West of England as CCO. Previous roles for Chris in the world of power generation/marketing have been at RWE power, EDF and Neas Energy. SmartestEnergy recently announced its acquisition of regional business energy supplier Dual Energy.


Team building process taking place at Sembcorp Energy UK

So to a Texan twosome: Kyle Higgs arriving at DTE Energy and Andrew Hartley also in Houston for Uniper Global Commodities. Kyle was Twin Eagle’s director of West Power Trading, for DTE he is Senior West Power Trader. Andrew changes from an originator role with LCRA to be Uniper's North America’s director of ERCOT power origination.

Kudos to Li Wynn Tan. His latest business card shows he is today a Goldman Sachs VP for power and utilities, having been at New York City financial services house Lazard dealing with activities in power, energy and infrastructure.

Next we look to Brisbane, as Charles Davis becomes an energy trader in physical markets for new publicly-owned energy generator CleanCo Queensland. Over the past three years Charles has been in Cooma, New South Wales, for Snowy Hydro in the dual role of Spot Trader/ Market Analyst. The company has just celebrated its 70th year in Australia’s energy marketplace. It's exactly one year since CleanCo was established as a government-owned corporation. During 2019, CleanCo has gained a chair for its independent board of management (Era Innovation partner Jacqui Walters), an inaugural permanent CEO (Dr. Maia Schweizer from Origin Energy) and a GM of performance/risk/finance (Graham Yerbury, from senior management roles in organisations in energy and mining, including Cardno, Arrow Energy and BP).


Axpo Belgium’s choice of Tanguy Limpens for Short Term Portfolio Manager (covering Benelux countries and France) builds on his path starting from a graduate training programme in trading and portfolio management at Engie Electrabel, to eight years in Brussels for Engie Group. During that time he was both an intraday trader and a manager in the power portfolio.

Newly a senior manager for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners dealing with renewable energy contracts, Christina Forsingdal now structures and negotiates renewable PPAs for fund management projects. For three years, Christina was a power originator with Danske Commodities and went on to work at Dong Energy as commercial manager. Since 2016 she’s been London-based at Shell as a Power Originator, supporting its trading activities in renewables.

Richart Marx joins Centrica Energy Trading GmbH in Germany, one of the former Neas Energy units renamed by Centrica Group in 2019 (the others being in Singapore and London). His new job title of Senior Business Developer has echoes of the role in business development he held at most recent German employer Steag; Richart is also an ex-RWE S&T senior structured originator. And at Centrica Energy Trading A/S in Denmark, Jonathan London on-boards as Portfolio Manager for physical asset optimisation and global business after spending 2017-2019 in Axpo Group portfolio management.


Inter-dealer brokerage TP ICAP in London has appointed Joanna Nader as Group Head of Strategy and Kasim Ali as Business Analyst - Commodities Trading. After being Chief Investment Officer at private equity house JRJ, Joanna became MD of RBC Capital Markets. Kasim previously consulted on energy portfolio management for ABB.

West Origination at Shell Energy North America in Houston is the new job for Valerie Barros. San Diego was her former location, during her seven years with EDF Renewables as Senior Power Marketer and Director - Renewable & Storage Product Development.

Seventeen years as a Centrica employee in the UK has ended for Leah Timmins with a switch to the London desk of Exelon Group electricity and gas supplier Constellation. Leah is named Senior Originator, recalling a position she filled until recently at Centrica in which she handled structured transactions and PPAs around UK power origination.

We head to Lukoil International Trading and Supply (LITASCO) in Geneva for the incoming Lead Power Trader: Mirko Ivanda.  He was based in Hamburg until mid-2018, in a prop trader capacity across power commodities for Vattenfall Energy Trading.

Ten years ago, Lukas Gresnigt was starting out at Statkraft bulding its energy business in Europe. Next came almost three years being commercial director and subsequently operations VP of group offshoot SN Power Brazil, before transfers to Statkraft centres in Oslo and finally Amsterdam in cost control and asset management roles respectively. The end of the decade marks a change for Lukas, to SHV Energy of The Netherlands as Director-Renewables.

And bringing our power section to a close is Michael Hine who makes a short-distance move in London to leave Mitsui Bussan Commodities and join Freepoint Commodities. Michael’s job title at Mitsui Bussan was VP-Energy Derivatives Trading. At Freepoint that’s been swapped for becoming a Senior Energy Trader.

Ørsted’s new trading office in Chicago adds Brent Phelps as Senior Power Trader. He was last in Illinois as trader for E.on Global Commodities North America. His moves since then have been to Houston for Velocity Merchant Energy and to Kansas City with Evergy. The Ørsted platform in North America includes a name change for Lincoln Clean Energy of Texas (acquired in October 2018 and now renamed Ørsted) and the appointment of Declan Flanagan as CEO Onshore.

Jay Rustulka changes from being Director/Head-Long Term Portfolio Management for Danske Commodities in Aarhus to Head of Options & Structured Trading at Uniper in Düsseldorf. The change returns Jay to Uniper, as he was its Senior Structured Trader until 2017.

Congrats to Yunus Ozsomer on becoming JPMorgan Chase’s Exec Director-East Power Trading in Houston after four years as a Citi director in options trading. In previous times Yunus was a VP in structured trading at Merrill Lynch and a senior power trader for NextEra Energy Resources.

At the London desk of Jera Global Markets we now find Anton van Heesewijk, recruited from Cheniere Energy to be Head of Trading Strategy. Anton had been Cheniere’s senior manager for analytics and before that were spells in gas and LNG analysis for E.on and BP.

Louis Gervais joins hedge fund Millennium Management in Switzerland to become Portfolio Manager. Previously at Alpiq, Louis had been its senior prop trader in energy.

Alpiq Holdings in Lausanne has just announced the promotion of André Schnidrig from heading its Generation International business division to being its new CEO from January 2020. He also takes on the function of Head-Digital & Commerce on an interim basis, following the departure of Markus Brokhof. Markus is returning to Australia after twenty years to take up a new role as Chief Operating Officer with Australia’s largest utility, AGL. Mattias Zwicky steps up from the Thermal Power Generation business unit to succeed André as Head-Generation International.


Company News

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This is merely a snapshot of some of the recent people moves and associated trends observed by our Power research team at Commodity. For further information about our intel offering and headhunting capabilities, please make contact with our CEO Jakob Bloch here Linkedin