US hedge fund Ospraie said to back new metals firm run by ex-Noble Group traders

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Ospraie Management LLC will back a new commodity merchant founded by Singapore-listed Noble Group's former global head of metals Mark Hansen, according to people familiar with the matter.

Dwight Anderson, who founded New York-based hedge fund Ospraie, will be the chairman, they said.

Former Noble traders Scott Evans and David Freeland will oversee operations for the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa, respectively.

The new firm, called Concord Resources Ltd., will focus on non-ferrous metals, such as copper, zinc, aluminum, nickel and lead, and minerals with offices in London, New York and Hong Kong, according to the people, who asked to not be identified because the information hasn't been made public.

MKS PAMP Group BV is also a founding shareholder of Concord, said Frederic Panizzutti, global head of sales at the Swiss precious metals firm.

Noble Group, the commodity company battling criticism of its accounting, recently overhauled its metals trading unit. At least six traders including Mr Hansen and Mr Evans left in the past month, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm is cutting back on copper and zinc trading to focus on aluminum and alumina.

Ospraie, once the world's biggest commodities hedge fund, is based in New York and managed about US$800 million as of May. Mr Anderson, 48, started his hedge-fund career working for billionaire Julian Robertson at Tiger Management.

The moves come as the industry faces rising competition from new entrants.

Tristan Busch, the former head of metals and concentrates at Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., founded his own trading firm, a regulatory filing last month showed. In March, Castleton Commodities International LLC said it hired Peter Sellars, former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s metals unit. Hartree Partners LP, the commodity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. energy traders, is expanding into the business.