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The Marketing Desk

The Marketing Desk

January 18, 2017

Chapter 64 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

The Boliden relationship was front and center in Chris Linen’s mind. In the months that followed the initial trades, the profits from the deals with that one customer were almost $10 million.

One night at the King Cole Bar, Chris Linen asked me to stay when some of the other traders left to go to a customer dinner. For some reason Chris called me “Ghandi”, so he leaned over handed me one of his prized Cuban stogies and said, “Ghandi, I think it is time we cut the cord with you and Sid. I want to make you the head of marketing for the department on a global basis. We need to use your sales talents to enhance profitability for the whole department not just for options.” I was flattered and knew it was my out from Sid’s area but at the same time I knew that Sid would view it as total abject disloyalty on my part if I agreed. Moreover, I wanted to trade because there is not buzz like the action one gets from making markets, buying and selling and taking risk positions. I was honest with Chris and he told me, “This is only one more step in your career. I have big plans for you and I will take care of Sid.” Naturally, I agreed.

Sid was not happy and the job was slightly amended, I would still report to Sid with a “dotted line” to Chris. Rafael Pirutinsky moved into my spot on the options trading desk and Sid made sure that I would remain for one month to help train him. Eventually, Chris moved me to a desk close to his and I spent my days calling customers of the department and convincing them to trade. The big part of running global marketing was the travel. Over the next few months I was on the road constantly in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and all over the United States. I was not only marketing the precious metals and options department I was doing deals for Philipp Brothers across all of the commodities traded by the firm. I was visiting with central banks all over the world to build the departments gold deposit portfolio. My experiences in trading options on a myriad of commodities familiarized me with the many raw materials traded by the company that traded on the futures markets.

The marketing desk was a tough job. I was in the office around 25% of the time and on the road the rest. I was in Hong Kong on bonus day in December when Chris Linen called me with me annual bonus. I had an amazing year between the Boliden deal and the silver profits my contribution was north of $10 million. I was making a salary of $100,000 and the prior year received a bonus of $80,000. Meanwhile, things were still falling apart around us at Philipp Brothers but Chris Linen’s department was the shining star, thanks in part, to me.

I had picked up a particularly nasty case of food poisoning in Asia and was stuck in my hotel room close to the bathroom when the phone rang. It was Chris with the news of my compensation for the coming year. My salary doubled to $200,000 and I received a bonus of $175,000. The numbers were extraordinary. All I could say was thank you, now if you will excuse me I have to throw up again.

Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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