Although still just 28, the bundle of energy that is Damien Bombell seems to have packed more into his life than many people in their 40s. Before coming up with the idea for buyingpower - an on-line "energy procurement service" for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) - he spent seven years as a commodities trader in Sydney, New York and London. He then wrote The Copper Club (under the nom de plume Patrick Bell), a thriller about a rogue copper trader, which drew on Bombell's experiences as a base-metal trader at Merrill Lynch at the time of the Sumitomo copper trading scandal. Bombell left Merrill shortly after the Sumitomo scandal broke. Although he himself will not be drawn on the whole affair, well-placed sources say that it was Bombell's whistle-blowing evidence to the US Commodities&Futures Trading Commission that formed the basis of the subsequent case against Merrill Lynch. Merrill loans had funded much of Yasuo Hamanaka's trading activity at Sumitomo. "I really can't say anything about all this," says Bombell. "You know what American lawyers are like."
The eldest of three children, Damien Bombell was born in Sydney in 1971. His father, an entrepreneur in the IT business, started Nova Systems in the Asia Pacific region.