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Perseverance

November 11, 2016

Chapter 19 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

After my chat with Al, I went to see my Godfather Bert Fontaine to ask for advice. He told me he already knew and was working on some things and suggested that I keep working hard and be patient.

The first interview was with the oil department for a traffic position. I was summoned to the 41st floor to meet with the head of oil logistics, Lou Santore. The interview went well, and I was excited at the prospects of a job handling energy. The traders in this department were the kings of the commodity division. While other areas were cutting back on personnel, the oil department was expanding. A few days later Al told me that the oil department selected someone else for the job.

The next interview was for a job in the copper department. Joe Robertson, the trader who was second in command in New York reporting to Gregor Leinsdorf, the son of the famous conductor, interviewed me. New York was not the head office for copper trading, as it was a London-based business. In London the Godfather of the international copper business, Manfred Koppelman ran the show and all other nonferrous metals trading businesses. Eric Salomon reported to Manfred and arranged for the interview.

After six months or so with Mildred, a job opportunity in the Los Angeles office opened up for a traffic/trading position in the steel pipe department. I interviewed for the job, but it went to Larry Moses, the nephew of the head of the steel department. I worked with Larry in the telex department over the summers so while I was a bit jealous, I understood that I could not compete with his connection. The L.A. office was about to become a victim of the layoffs at the company which were worldwide. The job in the copper department went to Larry, who was on his way back from LA. I was depressed.

Mildred spoke to me about perseverance before she left the firm. My dad had always lectured me about the importance of sticking with something when the chips are down. I did my job and awaited the grim reaper that was fast approaching. The word around the firm was that massive firings were less than one week away.

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Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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