Trafigura’s global head of gas, power & renewables, Richard Holtum, is being earmarked to take over from chief executive Jeremy Weir, Reuters has reported.

Five separate sources have briefed that Weir is preparing Holtum for the top job at the Swiss trading giant.

Weir will step back from the front line and become chairman, they said.

A number of retirements of key personnel over the past year have laid the ground for the next generation of leaders at the huge charterer and shipowner.

Sources said Holtum has joined Weir in meetings with top clients and banks in recent weeks.

One source believes a change could take place this year. Trafigura is not commenting.

Holtum took the gas and power job in 2022, with responsibility for building Trafigura’s presence in the fast-evolving gas, power and carbon markets. His role was expanded to include renewables last year.

He joined the group in 2014, becoming head of LNG and gas in 2019, playing a significant role in growing the company’s LNG and natural gas trading activity into a global business.

Holtum previously spent five years in the British Army, then worked for two years on the crude oil desk at rival trader Glencore.

Renewables are the future

“Renewable energy is the future. Holtum will step up when Weir decides he wants a quieter life,” one source said.

Trafigura made $7.4bn in net profit last year.

Earlier this month, the group lost two more leaders in a management reorganisation.

Executive director Jose Maria Larocca and chief financial officer Christophe Salmon resigned.

Larocca was one of three big bosses who stepped up to run the group when founder Claude Dauphin died in 2015.

The others were Weir and former chief operating officer Mike Wainwright, who retired in March after resigning last year.

Wainwright and Trafigura were charged in Switzerland in December with paying bribes to an oil company boss in Angola. Wainwright denies the charge.

Trafigura has now resolved a US probe into historic bribes made by former employees or agents in Brazil.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Trafigura Beheer, the parent company of Trafigura Group during the relevant period, will pay a total of $127m.

The group denied any connection between the retirements of Larocca and Salmon and any legal issues.

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