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Grinham Quits

February 13, 2017

Chapter 82 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

Peter Grinham was a good options trader who learned his craft in the rough and tumble world of the London Metals Exchange. He had no formal education; he learned as an apprentice and developed a good sense of the market.

Sid hired Peter to expand the options business away from precious metals so that the department could diversify its exposure to the commodities markets. Peter came aboard when I was still working for Sid as a junior options trader and I learned a lot about Sid from his interactions with Peter.

Peter was a large fellow; he had always struggled with his weight. He was soft spoken and timid when dealing on a personal level. Peter had a troublesome skin condition which required treatments. Sid was not only supportive of Peter, he insisted on helping him with treatments that were not covered by the company’s insurance. Sid could be the most difficult boss in the world. He was an even more difficult colleague or subordinate. However, his attitude towards and assistance in Peter’s case showed me that the man had a heart of gold.

Peter and I had always got along famously, at the LME dinner when Sid attacked Mark Suter it was Peter and me that pulled him off and separated the two. We spent many good times laughing about the experience. However, when I arrived in London as the new boss I noticed a dramatic change in his attitude and approach. He became standoffish and highly sarcastic. I was shocked by his actions and did not understand what I had done to make him so angry and belligerent. I attempted to approach Peter on many occasions over the first weeks but he would not chat and would only offer a snarky and often hurtful remark. I figured that he would eventually come around and when I spoke to Sid about the situation, he told me not to worry about him.

The ex-manager in the room continued to be a negative force in the department but it was easy to ignore his remarks. Peter was a different story. Benni Bieri was Peter’s fellow option trader on the desk and he was friendly to me but I could not break through with Peter Grinham. After six weeks or so, Peter called Sid and suddenly quit telling him he was taking a job at a competitor. He left the same day without saying a word to me. He walked around the desk and shook hands with everyone and spent lots of time with the man I was replacing. He totally ignored me. I was hurt and viewed the experience as a failure on my part. I realized that there were few people that I could trust in the London office. The operations manager and CFO for the office, Martin Lambert had helped me more than anyone else. I spoke to him about the situation with Peter and he told me to ignore the experience and move on.

The Peter Grinham experience bothered me, I knew he quit because of only one reason, me.

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Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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