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WRS Meet the Team – Jordan Randall, Trading and Commodities Division.

Posted by: Sharon Dunleavy
28/04/21

WRS Trading and Commodities division leader Jordan Randall tells us about himself, the current state of the market and where he feels future growth will increase in this, our latest blog.

Jordan, tell us a little bit about yourself…

“I joined WRS in 2011 and served on the South African Mining Division for 2 years before progressing into the new divisional set up in the Central and West African regions. I covered mid-senior level appointments (up to board level) and enjoyed a great deal success over a 4 year period. My remit included both local and expat assignments where I later expanded to further international operations in the APAC and CIS regions. In 2015, I headed off on a sabbatical in South America and North America. Mind blown.

“Upon my return, I was tasked to open the Trading Division at WRS as part of our continuous diversification programme. I have a global focus on sourcing Physical and Proprietary Trading professionals ranging from the front, mid office and back office. My initial geography focus has been aimed at the traditional trading hubs – London, NYC, Singapore and Geneva – with the ongoing analysis of emerging markets in the pipeline.

“I’m passionate about maintaining integrity, honesty and quality in all aspects of my work whilst not losing faith in the fact that the process can be enjoyable. I adopt a simplicity approach to my work at WRS and my methods. I believe that the recruitment process does not need to be overcomplicated where mutual respect between clients, candidates and myself is the most important factor. I achieve this by communicating clearly with my key stake holders and remaining focussed on the sourcing of high calibre professionals.

“In my spare time I enjoy being as creative as possible with a range of hobbies from playing and collecting guitars, playing lacrosse, upcycling, attending metal gigs, camping and travelling as much as possible. I have one continent left to go; Antarctica will be ticked off one day!”

What’s the current state of the commodities market?

“The commodities market is very complex and it’s state is in constant flux, but there are many articles in circulation now asking the question - are we witnessing the start of a new commodities super-cycle? I’ve taken what I believe are the relevant points from one such article, “We may be entering a new commodities Super-cycle,” to try to explain this better:

“Commodity super cycles are decade-long periods in which commodities trade above their long-term price trend. Some market analysts are seeing signs that a new super cycle is beginning now, pointing to a weakening dollar and supportive central banks and fiscal stimulus geared towards infrastructure spending as well as renewable energy.

“In the usual business cycle, demand pushes prices up, and supply increases to try to capture that windfall, sending prices down again. In a super-cycle, supply is so inadequate to demand growth that prices rise for years, even a decade or more.

“With the International Energy Agency predicting that global oil demand won’t rebound to pre-Covid levels until 2023, OPEC’s spare capacity could be very relevant, especially if oil demand has already peaked as BP Plc said last year. That’s not to say that prices won’t keep increasing, but rather that the sector has mechanisms in place to meet demand.

“The last time oil was $100 a barrel, in 2014, only 300,000 electric passenger vehicles were sold. Last year, that figure was 3.1 million. This year, it’s likely to be closer to four-and-a-half million. The expanding EV fleet reduces oil demand; add in the world’s two- and three-wheel light electric vehicles, and buses and we’re already looking at a million barrels a day of avoided oil demand as of 2019.

“This time, reducing demand for one commodity (oil) would boost demand for another (metals) in a way that really could be sustained for years or decades. A whole new market for metals such as cobalt, lithium, or nickel sulphate used in high-performance batteries is emerging to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).”

Do you cover the whole commodities market or focus on particular areas?

“We cover all commodities from traditional oil market, power and gas, all agricultural products (i.e. grain, corn, soy, cotton, coffee), renewables (wind, solar biofuels), refined products.

“We cover every role in the 360 cycles in the back, middle and front office. We also cover everything from a physical perspective and derivative/financial infrastructures.”

Which areas would you highlight for future growth within commodities?

“WRS has offices in North America, the EU, and Singapore which cover our Commodity and Trading divisions. Whilst we are always looking to grow within specific commodity upturns and ensure we are supporting our client's needs, we will continue to develop all avenues globally across all commodity specifics. We have had a recent discipline of focus within the data/software remits of the trading markets.

“The combination of unprecedented political uncertainty, trade wars, and rapidly evolving technologies is making commodity markets almost as unpredictable as they were during the financial crisis. But the chances of repeating the industry’s most profitable year to date are remote. Black and grey swan events will continue to result in intermittent spikes in volatility.

“For traders, volatility means opportunity - assuming, that is, they can beat the market - a big ask in these days of split-second global communication networks and high-frequency trading. New technology which can help them develop commodity trading strategies is internet big data, more specifically, sentiment derived from news and social media.

“This cutthroat environment will weed out the players that continue to follow the tactics of the past from those pioneering new trading strategies by investing in advanced predictive analytics to develop proprietary digital intelligence. As the amount of new digital data available continues to soar, the top players will return to their roots and rely more on developing information advantages from which they can increase their profits. The traders who develop the operating model to support these analytics will succeed and grow, while smaller players that can’t afford to invest in new digital capabilities will be forced to reassess.”

ABOUT WRS

WRS can save you time and money by supporting internal resources, providing you with the best pre-qualified candidates when you need them. We are a workforce solutions company with offices in Europe, the Middle East, APAC and the Americas, supporting the needs of businesses around the world. We employ specialist sector consultants, who can help you to identify the expatriate and local personnel you need to keep your business moving forward.

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