Tristan Busch and David Day have set up a new company called Zopco, which will focus on the international trade of non-ferrous concentrates and metals.
Busch and Day – who founded LME warehousing firm Warrant Distribution and is now a shareholder in Sale Distribution – are both shareholders in the company.
Busch was most recently head of metals and concentrates at Mercuria Energy Trading, and previously worked for three years as Trafigura’s head of refined metals following more than five years as Trafigura’s head of aluminium trading.
Zopco trading activities are headquartered in Geneva with a service office in South Africa, company director Busch told Metal Bulletin.
“We are certainly entering the market as a small trader. But we are very pleased with the positive reception from various financial institutions who welcome a new trader and are keen to co-operate with us,” he said.
“We will keenly pursue long-term offtake contracts, in some cases linked to pre-payment,” he said.
There will be two staff in Geneva and two in Johannesburg, with additions to come in both locations in the future.
The company will look at warehousing “in due course”, Busch said.
“Even though the LME warehouse rules are changing we believe there are still a number of interesting opportunities,” he added.
There are no plans to build a brokerage side to the business or to seek LME membership.
“With the big drops we have seen recently in commodity prices we believe many of the larger, established trading companies are spending much of their management time putting out fires rather than focusing hard on the development of new business,” Busch said.
“We are new and start without any such issues. Out time will be entirely spent on pursuing new business,” he added.
The company is already pursuing business opportunities in Africa, Europe, Central Asia and East Asia.