Our commitment is to provide an exceptional, comprehensive service across multiple energy markets, while upholding our reputation for reliability and integrity as we grow a sustainable and competitive business.
Risk Management Framework
Trading

Risk Managers
(independent function)

Live reporting:

  • P&L
  • Position & credit exposures
  • Derivative positions
  • Trading limits
  • Concentration risk analysis
Finance

CEO, Credit, Compliance Manager
& Treasury

Live reporting:

  • Credit
  • KYC
  • Cash
  • Foreign exchange
Logistics

Operations Team

  • Full coverage of Trade Logistics between refiners, traders, and consumers
  • Global Operations expertise
  • Waterborne, railcar, trucks, and pipeline transactions
  • Inventory management and reconciliation
Compliance

We conduct our business in an honest and ethical manner and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate. We take our legal responsibilities very seriously and always act in accordance with applicable law.


To ensure compliance with these high standards, we maintain policies that embody our shared principles, including with respect to:
•anti-bribery and corruption;
•anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing;
•market abuse;
•anti-slavery and human trafficking;
•sanctions and trade controls; and
•competition law.
Our policies are supported by detailed procedures, carefully tailored to our business. These include our risk-based Know Your Counterparty procedure to ensure that we know who our business partners are before we enter into a relationship with them. Our commitment to acting with integrity then continues through our risk-based due diligence and monitoring controls and procedures.
To ensure our policies and procedures remain fit for purpose and appropriate for the group’s constantly evolving business, they are reviewed on a continuous basis by our Compliance Committee, which is comprised of senior executives from across the group’s commercial and control functions to guarantee that a wide range of perspectives is considered. The Compliance Committee is, in turn, able to draw on the expertise of the group’s Compliance and Legal functions.
Ultimately, however, upholding our principles is the responsibility of all of our employees and other stakeholders. We therefore provide regular training to ensure they understand our policies and procedures, encourage them to provide feedback and create a culture where all stakeholders feel a sense of responsibility for acting in accordance with our shared principles.

Gregor von la Valette
Having co-founded ELEMENT Alpha in 2015 and co-running the company as CFO for two years, Gregor was named CEO of ELEMENT Alpha’s global trading business in October 2017. Gregor brings significant experience in both commodity trading and corporate finance. 

Gregor started his career at Morgan Stanley in London and New York in the Leveraged Finance group where he developed extensive skills in business analysis, financial and legal due diligence and credit syndication. 

Gregor holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Maastricht.

Nino Mendiburu

Nino is currently heading the business in the Americas as CEO. He has over 20 years of experience in trading physical oil and derivatives, he co-founded ELEMENT Alpha in 2015.

Prior to founding ELEMENT Alpha, Nino was head of trading at Maddox SA Geneva and before that he was a middle distillate trader at SET Select Energy Hamburg.

Earlier Nino worked in investment banking and traded credit derivatives for Citi in London. He began his trading career in the late 90’s at Mendex.

Nino holds two Master’s degrees from ESCP Europe in Paris and from City University of London.

Natalia Kunda

At ELEMENT Alpha Natalia held various managerial positions in trading, prior to being appointed as CFO in 2022. 

Natalia has over 15 years of combined experience both in investment banking as well as in physical commodity trading. She started her career in 2007 at Goldman Sachs in London specializing in structured finance and risk management with focus on the Emerging Markets energy sector. In 2014 she became part of the team invited to join the investment banking division of Sberbank to help set up global commodities trading desk such that the bank could leverage their extensive energy loan portfolio.

Natalia studied international finance in Moscow as well as corporate finance at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management.

Dr. Christoph Beckmann

Dr. Beckmann has a long track record serving in top management positions. He first led the project finance team at Deutsche Bahn AG and was Managing Director for Opus 5 Interaktive Medien GMBH. Dr. Beckmann then joined Swiss International Airlines Ltd. as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, and then a year later became Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and Member of the Management Board. In these roles, he was instrumental in the turnaround of SWISS to become a leading European airline.

Christoph Beckmann has studied industrial engineering at the technical university of Darmstadt and in 1994 completed a doctorate in marketing and management of innovations.

Gregory Filippi

Gregory is the founder and managing partner of Onyx Blue Capital Ltd., a global long/short equity hedge fund. He is a member of the investment committee to oversee capital allocation and is responsible for risk management. He is also involved in setting the firm’s strategic orientation.

Gregory has been active in financial markets for two decades. During his tenure he has worked in Zurich, Singapore and Dubai in senior roles and served a wide range of international key clients.

Through these leadership roles he gained a deep understanding of the responsibility of monitoring and managing risk levels and having appropriate controls in place.

Gregory holds a Master’s degree from the University of Zurich.

Trading
Price Risk
  • Hedged portfolio with derivatives targeted (futures / swaps)
  • Daily Risk monitoring: basis, differential, crack, structural risks
  • Tripartite agreements to ensure minimum capital is tied up in hedging transactions
Trading / Market Risk
  • All trades are reviewed prior to commitment
  • New trade structures pre-approved by trade finance team before presenting to banks
  • New trade structures signed-off with management prior to execution
  • Individual risk limits per trader and global risk limits approved by BoD
Currency Risk
  • Vast majority of contracts are USD denominated
  • Element Alpha hedges any other currency exposure on contracts
  • CHF- based operating expenses in Geneva are carefully monitored
Finance
Liquidity Risk
  • Access to >$400mm of trade financing plus FX and broker limits
  • Large pool of tier-1 trade financing banks as well as foreign exchange and clearing brokers
  • Continuous increase in Group capital base to support business growth
Credit Risk
  • Appropriate tools (credit insurance, LCs, bank guarantees) to reduce risk
Counter-Party Risk
  • Stringent KYC clearance by compliance department
  • Determination of credit limit by trade finance and management
  • Ongoing monitoring of market news and annual financial review
Logistics
Performance Risk
  • Compliance with delivery: pre-approval and payment post cargo documents receipt
Quality / Quantity
  • Team track record and relationship with reputable inspectors
Storage Risk
  • Holistic evaluation (geography, logistics, structure, costs) and management sign off
Shipping
  • Partner with brokers, charter by own subsidiary (Starboard)
  • Maritime cargo, charterer’s liability & freight defence and demurrage policies