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Sherk Out: King Moves Up to Sole Commodities Chief at Morgan Stanley

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Peter Sherk, Morgan Stanley’s commodities co-chief, will vacate his role at the firm. His former co-chief, Nancy King, will stay on as the sole commodities chief of the entire unit.

Sam Kellie-Smith, fixed-income trading head for Morgan Stanley, revealed King’s extended role in a staff memo. The change rapidly went into effect after Sherk announced his decision to exit. According to a person acquainted with the matter, it was stated that commodities chief operating officer, Martin Mitchell, would also be leaving his post. Reuters first reported their exits early Thursday. Neither Sherk nor Mitchell could be reached for comment.

Morgan Stanley is uniting fixed-income employees after dwindling commodities operations and the broader bond-trading unit. Under regulatory pressure, the firm has hawked businesses that traded and stored oil. In an attempt to increase revenue, execs agreed last year to cut nearly a fourth of the firm’s fixed-income employees. In January, Kellie-Smith was selected to head the unit.

Nancy King first started working at Morgan Stanley in 1986 as an oil and gas trader. She then took over several leadership roles. King served as the leader of U.S. coal trading and U.S. emissions, chief risk officer for global commodities, and leader of the oil liquid flow business. In 2015, she was appointed global co-chief beside Sherk.

In Kellie-Smith’s memo, he wrote, “Nancy will join the fixed-income operating committee, a key appointment” he continued, “We look to further the collaboration between our global commodities business and the rest of sales in trading.” According to someone acquainted with the matter, nearly 150 traders and support staff from the commodities-trading division will transfer over to the firm’s Manhattan head office from Purchase, New York this summer.

Per the memo, after becoming employed with Morgan Stanley in 1999, Sherk aided in building out the firm’s North American power and gas practice. He served as the leader of both natural gas trading and North America power and gas trading and origination throughout the duration of his tenure at Morgan Stanley.

Article written by HEI contributor Briana Steptoe.

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