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A Fateful Trip To Toronto

A Fateful Trip To Toronto

January 26, 2017

Chapter 70 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

Toronto is a short hop from New York City. For a trip to visit dealers and gold producing companies there, I decided, strategically, to take Jimmy DiPiazza with me, since he was probably the best natural trader in the department.

Jimmy and I had bonded since Peter left the firm. Sid kept telling me not to trust Jim. He said, “Jimmy speaks with fork tongue,” whatever that meant. On our trip, over drinks after a day of meetings, I decided to spring my idea on Jimmy. With his support, I knew I would make it happen.

We started talking about the London office for the precious metals department. The manager was a nice enough guy but he was not aggressive. He had been in charge of London for years and was happy to transfer any profits, and there were not many, to New York, as it was a global business. However, the London branch office did not take much risk. Maintaining the business and not enhancing seemed to be the goal.

Furthermore, Chris Linen had hired an old friend, Chris Frith to work in London as the chief trader on the desk. Frith was not particularly impressed with the direction of the London branch office and he let Mr. Linen know all about it, on a daily basis. As a result, the friction between the manager across the pond and Frith caused problems with the other traders in the dealing room. Frith was a good trader, but not management material.

Jimmy and I had a long chat about how London needed to produce and earn their keep in the department. We talked about how the office, in the hub of the global precious metals market was a squandered opportunity. I asked Jimmy what he thought the problem was. He said, “the manager.” I asked, “What do we do about it?” Jimmy said, “Someone needs to go there and run the department but I never bring it up because I can’t move my wife and two boys there.” Then he said the magic words, “Why don’t you go?” I said I would sleep on it.

The next morning, we had breakfast in the hotel before hopping the early flight back to New York City. I told Jimmy I was interested and he said, “Let’s make it happen.” We flew back and took a cab into the office. When we arrived, we pulled Chris Linen into an office and spelled out the idea. Chris loved it. He called Henry and Marty and arranged a meeting for Chris and myself later in the day. Things were moving but I had no idea how fast these things happen.

Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities

Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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