Commodities clamour set to calm?

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Commodities hiring continues to boom. But a quieter time could be on the way.

Colleen Quilty, head of commodities search at Akamai Financial Markets says competition between trading houses is driving down profitability and could impact hiring in the next three to five years: "It is very active at the moment, but on ever more competitive margins," she explains.

For the moment, however, job-seeking commodities traders remain spoilt for choice. Citigroup and Lehman Brothers have both recently strengthened their energy trading presence, with the promise of more hires to come.

"The ongoing liberalisation of European gas and electricity markets, and the rise of emerging markets such as carbon and biofuels are all fuelling demand," says Jakob Bloch, managing director of search firm Commodity Appointments.

"Companies are expanding trading and marketing and will also be in the market for structuring expertise, risk management, operational, credit expertise," he adds.

Next July is expected to see the full liberalisation of the European gas and electricity markets, a move many in the investment banking community are hoping will create further commodity-based opportunities.

The commodities hiring clamour may die down. Don't expect a silence in its place.

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