Element Alpha SA is an independent oil trading firm founded in 2015. With its highly experienced team, Element creates trading, logistical and financial solutions for its international supplier and customer base. The firm is operating from Geneva, Switzerland.
Element was founded by seasoned trading professionals in 2015. The team executes oil trades involving complex logistics between producers, refiners and consumers. Usage of sea-going vessels, river barges, rail and trucks as means of transportation.
Reliable physical supply of high quality crude oil and refined oil products.
Creation of logistical solutions utilising a combination of sea-going tankers, storage terminals, river barges, rail-tank-cars and tank trucks.
Providing financing and risk management solutions to our suppliers and customers thereby enhancing their liquidity profile, operative stability and ability to grow.
Element is majority owned by its management and employees. The team focuses on the long-term success of the business model, promoting management depth and stability and encouraging prudent risk management.
Founder & CEO of Element Americas Inc.
Nino Mendiburu founded Element Alpha SA together with Gregor von la Valette in 2015 and was CEO of Element Alpha SA until his re-location to the United States in October 2017 to run the firm’s US subsidiary’s activities. Nino is a seasoned trading professional with more than 15 years of experience in trading of physical oil, refined products, oil derivatives & credit derivatives. Prior to founding Element, Nino held several trading & management positions at companies such as Maddox (former PS Trading), SET Select Energy, Citi, JP Morgan, and Mendex.
Founder & CEO of Element Alpha SA
Having founded Element Alpha SA together with Nino Mendiburu in 2015 and co-running the company as CFO for two years, Gregor was named CEO of Element Alpha’s global business in October 2017. Gregor brings significant experience in both commodity trading and corporate finance. Prior to founding Element, he traded middle distillates at Maddox (formerly PS Trading). He started his career at Morgan Stanley in London and New York in the Leveraged Finance Team where he developed extensive skills in business analysis, financial and legal due diligence and credit syndication.
Chairman of the Board
Christoph has a long track record of serving in top management positions in first class international companies, such as Swiss International Airlines and Deutsche Bahn AG. In his last role at SWISS he served as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and Member of the Management Board contributing to the successful sale of SWISS to Deutsche Lufthansa AG. He is co-founder of Turgot Ventures AG, a venture capital firm investing in and helping build innovative early stage companies. In 2016, Christoph joined Element in an advisory role and as an investor.
Member of the Board
Simon has over 25 years experience in the commodities industry having held senior management positions from an early stage. In 1995, he was General Manager of the Gerald Metals Hong Kong office after which he was promoted to become the General Manager of the Lausanne office in 2000. Simon subsequently joined Trafigura Trading Shanghai in 2006 as manager of the Greater China business. In 2009, he came back to Europe as Trafigura's Global Head of Refined Metals. In 2011, Simon was appointed Member of the Management Board of Trafigura in Geneva where he took responsibility of all trading activities of metals and minerals. He was also named Member of the Board of Impala, Trafigura's key subsidiary covering global logistics and warehousing. Simon retired from Trafigura in 2015 and joined Element Alpha SA in an advisory role and as an investor.
Profitable every quarter since inception
Incorporation of Element Alpha SA in Geneva, Switzerland.
Opening of office in Geneva, Switzerland.
Started trading operations.
Expanded team and moved to bigger offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
Element Americas Inc. founded.
Element Americas Inc.’s office opened in New York City
Element Americas Inc.’s office transferred from New York City NY to Houston TX
In an increasingly complex trading environment, we find solutions for our customers’ energy requirements. We aim to provide our clients with an exceptional end-to-end service in various oil and oil products markets on a global basis. Our objective is to continue growing a competitive and sustainable business which is known for its reliability and integrity.
The team is trading barrels of crude oil, condensate and refined oil products. Our regional focus is Europe (Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Northwest Europe), the Americas and West Africa.
Element aggregates and trades various niche crude oil grades and supplies them to its customer base on a global basis.
We are strategically developing our light-ends sourcing and blending activities in order to capture a growing demand among Element’s customer base.
Middle distillates currently represent one of Element’s core businesses. We trade and store jet fuel, diesel and gasoil in various grades globally.
Element trades refinery feedstocks such as vacuum gasoil and straight-run fuel oil as well as finished grades for the bunker and power generation markets globally.
Element’s risk strategy is clearly deﬁned by the Company’s internal risk policy, involving various controls and processes including but not limited to: daily P&L, position and credit exposure reports, daily reconciliation of derivatives positions, and daily monitoring of trading limits. These processes and controls are independently monitored by a non-commercial function.
The physical portfolio of the Company is always hedged with derivative instruments and is therefore always market neutral.
Element's supply and sales contracts are for the vast majority denominated in USD. Should any supply or sales contract be denominated in a different currency, the Company hedges the associated risk on the forex markets.
TRADING & MARKET RISK
All trades are carefully reviewed and are subject to the following process: - The trade ﬁnance team to pre-approve any trade idea brought by a trader and then present it to banks. - The trader will then have to agree on the execution of the proposed physical trade with Management, prior to execution.
Element has strong transactional bank facilities with a solid pool of 1st class banks accommodating BtB, FtB, and storage financing structures.
Apart from smaller size prepayment agreements, ELEMENT’s exposure to performance risk is limited to a situation where a supplier would not comply with its contractual delivery obligations. As suppliers are mostly only paid after receipt of Bills of Lading and other cargo documents, this risk is rather limited
Storage is among the key vectors of our trading developments. Based on our transactional approach and local due diligence process, we have developed a diversified portfolio: in-land and floating storages, short and long term lease, multi products, among others.
Beyond our more transactional trades, we are working closely with our business partners on ‘tailor made’ structures such as: pre-payments, open account sales, sub-lease agreements, frame/term contracts, syndicated financing, and buy-back structures. Our trading, operations and finance teams have brought on board decades of experience and an unquestioned expertise in most international markets.
Element is specialized in entering into trades involving complex logistics of oil between producers, reﬁners and consumers. We deliver a superior service to our clients, thereby maintaining our competitive edge.
Sea-going vessel and barge shipping
Element works via experienced ship brokers with first class ship owners to transport its cargoes safely across oceans and rivers globally.
Element stores its cargo exclusively in highly reputable oil storage facilities that have previously been vetted by its operations and insurance teams.
Rail & Road transport
Element’s highly experienced operations department is proficient in shipping cargo via rail or truck from or into various niche markets.
Element’s operations are tightly linked to our corporate values, ensuring the business is conducted with highest integrity and ethical standards. Element acknowledges that its reputation is strongly influenced by compliance with these values and is committed to preserving these.
Element’s fundamental corporate values are be broken down into the following:
A thorough commercial and financial understanding of our counterparties enables Element to better serve our clients while at the same time controlling our risk and adhering to our anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering policies.
Under our KYC procedures, Element’s compliance team conducts due diligence for each new counterparty. Completion of KYC is mandatory prior to entering into any new contractual agreements with any counterparty.
For counterparties who are looking to purchase from us under open account terms, an internal credit analysis is performed in conjunction with our KYC to determine payment terms that can be offered.
Since inception, Element’s business practices have been governed by integrity, honesty, fair dealing and full compliance with all applicable laws. Element’s reputation is one of our most important assets, and as such, Element is committed to abiding by the highest ethical standards of doing business. Adherence to Element’s Code of Business Conduct is mandatory for all personnel.
The Code of Conduct has been developed on the basis of fundamental ethical principles and best practices of corporate governance. Our Code of Business Conduct sets requirements for professional conduct and is the foundation for our Company policies, procedures, and guidelines.
It informs our employees of expected behaviors and guides all personnel to act consistently with our Company values.
Element is a truly diverse company where talent is combined with experience and commitment to drive our business forward.
Element’s success is built around the skill sets, experience and entrepreneurial spirit of its team. People are the most important capital of our company and we strive to consistently recruit new talent as well as grow our own talent.
In all our offices you will find outstanding individuals working interactively together with their colleagues, worldwide. Meritocracy, creativity and entrepreneurship are the foundations on which Element is built.
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