Twelve months ago, it was fair to say that the LME was facing a period of uncertainty – it had lost its chief operating officer in December 2016, while its chief executive Garry Jones was days away from his unexpected retirement.
2016 had not been a great year – apart from a bumper November, LME trading volumes had fallen, the move to new corporate headquarters had stuttered, as problems with the building resulted in the ring spending the summer at its disaster recovery site in the Essex countryside
, while the first anniversary of three new contracts passed without fanfare.
True – steel scrap and steel rebar had achieved lift-off, but these were off-market and cash settled – in short not very visible. The four aluminium premium hedging offerings, more high-profile, designed and introduced to tackle warehouse queue-gate problems, were tradeless and had few friends.
In January 2017, the first order of business was to...