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Two for team at ABN

ABN Amro last month made a curious choice of words to announce the arrival of some new staff in its commodity derivatives division.

The firm had, we were told, hired a ?leading energy market trading team?.

Wow! Could this be a team poaching to rival Barclays Capital?s famous but unsuccessful attempt to lure 40 fixed-income bankers from CSFB back in 2001? Sadly not.

It turns out that ABN Amro had in fact managed to snatch two people away from BNP Paribas. Wayne Harburn becomes the Dutch bank?s global head of commodity trading, and Vincent Chevance becomes the global head of commodity marketing.

This is undoubtedly a significant development for ABN Amro?s financial markets business, but two people hardly constitute a team. A pair, yes, but not a team. Luckily, the Collins English dictionary is on hand to help. A team, it explains, is generally considered to be a ?group of people organized to work together?.

But it has another meaning: ?two or more animals working together to pull a vehicle or agricultural implement?. So that?s settled. 

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