So, with trading and the credit crunch well and truly in the mainstream news, everyone thinks that they know who the major players are. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Barclays Capital are three firms which immediately come to mind. But you sometimes have to look at other well known companies from a different angle to realise that they, too, have pretty substantial trading operations.
As an example, take Shell. The red and yellow petrol stations are very familiar, but did you know that the company also employs traders in offices around the world, who trade on average more than 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, along with substantial volumes in other areas ? Oh, and that they were also the first company to trade carbon credits ? There's more to Shell, then, than just a motorway service station...
Shell Trading is made up of a network of independent companies, trading in their own right. Shell Trading companies have offices in London, Rotterdam, Singapore, Houston, Dubai, Tokyo, Barbados, Calgary and Moscow and offer a number of services from shipping to risk management. Understandably, competition is highest for jobs in Barbados! Whatever your location, Shell provides flexible working practices wherever necessary and operationally possible. Some locations can also offer flexi-time working - enabling you to start your work day earlier or later to fit your needs.
The business trades in areas that the Group knows a fair bit about and you'd expect: crude oil, refined products, natural gas, electrical power, and chemicals. In addition, Shell trades environmental products. 'Environmental Trading is relatively new,' says Ranjit Prasad, Global Head of CO2 Trading, 'Since the 1990s, governments have been developing environmental market regulations that reduce industrial emissions and increase renewable power generation. The Kyoto Protocol has also played a huge role in the effort to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a market for trading 'carbon credits'.Obviously it's important to Shell that it operates in as carbon efficient manner as possible'.
Shell has a long history of operating a trading business. From its headquarters at 80 The Strand, the London trading floor has been the hub of the company's multinational operations, and acts as the glue that brings together crude oil produced fresh from the ground to manufacturing facilities across the globe. While their 'in house' trading is little known to the average man on the street, this puts a different perspective on a company more well known for rigs, refineries and being one of the few places open for a midnight Mars bar!