We spoke to Alistair Milnes, head of global resourcing at Gazprom Marketing and Trading. This is what Alistair said about Gazprom’s hiring plans for 2013.
Q: In the current market, we understand Gazprom Marketing and Trading is in the unusual position of growing. Can you give us some figures to illustrate your expansion?
Sure. GM&T was set up in 1999. By 2010, we had 500 employees worldwide, now we have over 950 spanning the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.
Today we trade natural gas, power, liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), clean energy and carbon, and oil. We also trade FX and derivatives because we’re a global company with foreign exposure. As well as our marketing and trading business, we have a retail operation that sells gas and power to industrial and commercial businesses, such as Heinz, Chelsea Football Club and Nandos as well as German households.
Q: How many of those people are based in London?
London is the global headquarters for GM&T. We have around 600 people in London. There are further 75 people in Singapore, around 30 in Houston, 20 employees in Paris and around 10 in Zug – a new office in Switzerland which opened earlier this year. Gazprom Energy, our retail business employees the remainder across The UK, Germany and The Netherlands.
Q: Do you expect to continue expanding your London-based operation in 2013?
Yes, we’re continuing to grow. It’s hard to put a number on it yet as budgets are being finalised, but we expect to add at least another 100 people here.
Q: Are there any particular business areas you’re focusing on?
We are continuing to grow across the board, broadening our geographical reach, both front and non front office roles. We’re currently doing some work in the gas-to-power market – historically we focused on trading gas but we’re now looking at generating electricity too and we’re hiring people who know how to manage assets and optimize and trade the power we create. We’re also creating a new commodity derivatives business and expect to hire for that.
In addition, we are building our in-house M&A team and are interested in hearing from people who have a background in energy M&A. The team is focused initially on growing in London but there are plans to build the team internationally in the future.
Q: Tell me about the culture of GM&T…
Culture is at the very heart of our organisation, how you behave is really important to what you do. We’re a values based company and this is core to us building a sustainable business. We recruit, develop and manage performance around 4 key values; Unique Team Spirit and Team Work, Outstanding Communication, Unsurpassed Innovation, and an unstoppable passion for growth, excellence and learning.
Q: How diverse is your employee base?
We’re a very diverse company with 31 different nationalities in London and 41 across GM&T globally.
Q: How do you structure your compensation at GM&T?
We have a total compensation philosophy which recognises and rewards high performance at individual, team and company level.
Q: Given that you’re very performance-pay focused, does this imply that you pay lower salaries than those now offered by investment banks?
No, not at all. We’re very competitive with our total compensation philosophy and believe that our salaries are very comparable with the energy market.
Q: Are you interested in hiring people from investment banks or do you tend to target other commodities houses?
We are interested in people with a broad range of energy related backgrounds. Investment banks are one of many places we find our talented people.
Q: Are bankers interested in coming to work for you?
Yes, absolutely, we get a lot of interest from bankers looking to join us.
Q: What about support staff from banks – risk professionals, finance professionals and IT staff – are they of interest to you?
Yes again. We’re always looking for good talented people who understand energy. We currently have a number of risk opportunities.
Q: Do people working in your middle and back office roles have much opportunity to move internally? – Maybe even into trading?
We’re really keen on moving people internally – we’ve got quite a few risk people who’ve moved into trading. We have a power trader who’s moved through the business from IT to operations to trading. The head of our Zug business originally joined us in a finance role and our director of global trading started out here in operations. People also move the other way, we’re very open to moving people across the business and always hire people with potential to develop their careers with us.