Awards for Excellence 2011: Best Global commodities house
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Awards for Excellence 2011: Best Global commodities house

Acquisitions have enabled the firm to fuse derivatives strength with physical commodities trading.

Awards for Excellence 2011

Best Global commodities house: JPMorgan
Also nominated: Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley

The energy price spike in 2011 has led banks’ commodities revenues to rebound after the relative oil-price stability of 2010. According to one study, the commodities revenues of a group of 10 of the world’s largest banks increased 55% in the first quarter.

This has also been the year in which JPMorgan secured its place in the commodities firmament. In March, research by US consultant Greenwich Associates found that JPMorgan had overtaken Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as the world’s top energy trader, with 41% of over-the-counter energy trading, measured by client numbers.

The story starts in 2007, when Blythe Masters, formerly CFO of JPMorgan’s investment bank, became the firm’s head of global commodities. At the time, the firm was strong in commodity derivatives. But it lacked physical trading facilities, particularly in energy.

Other banks have been fighting to build bigger commodities businesses: notably Deutsche Bank, which has achieved impressive growth at a relatively low cost. Deutsche’s strength in metals and investor products has served it particularly well.