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London-based commodity trader Engelhart CTP has announced a series of senior management changes and set out plans to streamline its unwieldy corporate structure.

Ricardo Leiman, its top trader, has stepped down as chief executive, handing the day-to-day control of the business to chairman Huw Jenkins. Meanwhile, Dean Morris, chief operating officer, has been named head of its core agricultural business.

That move is part of a wider restructuring that will see ECTP’s 15 operating units, or platforms, merged to form three new divisions – Agriculture, Hard Commodities and Energy. The last two businesses will be run by Shon Loth and Louis Hopper respectively.

“Over the next three months, we will work on the smooth implementation of this new structure; as well as strengthening our trading bench and further developing our banking relationships,” said Mr Jenkins in a memo to staff.

“We are on track for another successful year, targeting revenue growth and a double-digit return on equity,” he added. “We think this is a very exciting time to be in the business and we finish the first quarter in very good shape.”

Engelhart, which was spun off from Brazilian bank BTG Pactual, has experienced rapid growth since it was founded in four years ago, generating almost $1bn of net income between 2012 and 2016.

The company has a different business model to many of its rivals, combining physical trading with proprietary trading. In effect, it uses knowledge from buying and selling raw materials, backed up by research, to place directional bets on markets.

While the business, named after an amalgam of its trading desks, is “asset light” it still moves around 20m tonnes of agricultural commodities around the world each year. It is also among the biggest aluminum traders.

The company has experienced some growing pains, however. It slumped to a loss in third quarter of last year following the Brexit vote and then cut almost a fifth of its 800-strong workforce, calling an end to its turbo-charged expansion.

In a memo sent just before Christmas, Mr Leiman said 2016 has been a “difficult year” with his individual trading performance falling to $160m against $365m a year earlier.

“That naturally makes it difficult for ECTP to beat 2015 results which were a record,” he said in the memo first reported by Bloomberg.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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