Exxon Mobil asked traders in Brussels to relocate to London, people familiar with the matter said, as the oil giant continues to reorganize its growing trading business.
Brussels-based refined products traders were informed on Thursday that they have to decide whether to relocate or leave the company this year, one of the people said. Exxon’s gasoline traders are already based in London, whereas most other fuel traders are based in Brussels, the person said.
“As we continue to strengthen our trading community, London provides better proximity to trading activities, trading talent pool, and will support our evolution as a trading organization,” Exxon (NYSE:XOM) said in an emailed statement.
The company’s nascent trading operation is starting to pay off, with record profits from trading in 2022 and a gain of more than $1 billion in the last three months of 2023. The trading expansion started in earnest in 2018 as Exxon sought to leverage its global networks to provide unmatched market intelligence and bolster earnings. Still, its approach has been cautious and the company only brought all trading under one global unit last year.
Exxon has already relocated its other UK traders from the commuter town of Leatherhead to central London as part of a greater bid to attract talent into the unit. It also introduced a new bonus plan that would help incentivize traders to join the group.
Separately, Exxon’s global head of market analysis Jim Nielsen is leaving, after more than two decades with the company, he said in a post on LinkedIn.
“I have exercised the option in the generous benefits plan to end my time leading the trading floor market analysis teams in our offices around the world,” he said in the post.