The Financial Times is pleased to announce the launch of the first FT Commodities Americas Summit, which will take place in Buenos Aires. Global and regional commodity leaders will converge to debate the outlook for commodities in this resource-rich region - one that presents many untapped opportunities but also faces challenges in reaching its full potential.
FT Commodities Americas Summit
Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena
Louis Dreyfus Company
Days til event
The commodities industry is emerging from the most severe downturn in a generation and that presents a new set of challenges and opportunities, particularly in regions such as the Americas, which boast a huge endowment of raw materials. President Trump’s pledge to tear up trade deals and impose border tariffs could have far-reaching ramifications across the continent, particularly in agriculture, where abundant stocks are capping price gains. The direction of the US dollar, industrial relations, as well as the pace of economic growth and reform in China, are other factors that commodity traders and producers in the Americas will have to address in 2017.
But there are also opportunities. The continent has untapped resources of renewable energy, oil and gas and metals waiting to be developed. These, and many other issues, will form the agenda for the first FT Commodities Americas Summit, which will feature speakers from some of the world’s biggest trading houses, resource companies and banks, as well as senior government leaders.
Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena
Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). An Argentine national, he joined the Group in Buenos Aires in 2005, initially working for the Oilseeds platform and later for the Freight platform in Paris, France. In 2007 he moved to Madrid to develop the distribution market for LDC Spain. The following year he returned to Buenos Aires to lead the Group’s grains and oilseeds origination activities in South Latin America, and in parallel started the fertilisers and seeds division in Argentina. He subsequently served as Chief Operating Officer for South & West Latin America, and in 2012 was appointed head of that Region, acting in parallel as interim Senior Head of Regions for the Group between 2013 and 2014. He moved to Singapore in 2015 as Head of the Asia Region, before his appointment as CEO. Prior to joining the Group, Gonzalo worked for 15 years at Nidera in Argentina.
In February 2015, Iván Arriagada joined Antofagasta Minerals S.A., a Chilean-controlled company listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. In April 2016, he was appointed CEO of Antofagasta plc, the holding company of Antofagasta Mining Group. Mr Arriagada is a commercial engineer, graduate from the Adolfo Ibañez Business School at Universidad Federico Santa María and holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics.
Prior to joining Antofagasta Minerals, he held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Codelco. Before this, he was President of Pampa Norte at Base Metals BHP Billiton, Vice President of Operations at Base Metals BHP Billiton and Chief Financial Officer for Copper at BHP Billiton.
Mr Arriagada previously worked in the oil and gas industry at Royal Dutch Shell International, holding various posts in finance and business development, primarily in England, USA and Argentina.
John Kanellitsas has been involved in the battery materials industry since 2009 and is currently the President and Vice Chairman of Lithium Americas Corp. He has over 25 years of corporate finance and investment management experience. He was a co-founder of Geologic Resource Partners, LLC, and was previously employed by Morgan Stanley & Co. and General Electric. Mr Kanellitsas has an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.
Alejandro Quentin is the Founder & CEO of Pampa Capital, a Latin America‐based private equity firm specialized in Agribusiness with operating offices in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. "Pampa" is the General Partner of Pampa Agribusiness Fund LP that invests in the agribusiness value chain in the region. The fund is currently invested in the following platforms: protein processing, seeds, agricultural machinery and logistics.
Mr Quentin has extensive experience in the agribusiness industry in Latin America. In 2002, he founded together with Soros Fund Management, Adeco Agropecuaria (NYSE: AGRO). Mr Quentin was a member of the Board of Directors and responsible for its operational oversight and expansion into Brazil and Uruguay.
Since 1994 he has been executive Vice‐Chairman of Estanar (Estancias Argentinas S.A), a leading family owned agricultural and cattle company in Argentina founded in 1910. Mr Quentin was a seed investor in Farmacity – Argentina’s largest drugstore chain where he served as Chairman and CEO. Prior to this, he worked for McKinsey & Company (Milan and Buenos Aires).
Mr Quentin is a board member of the Fundacion Cultural Coliseum in Buenos Aires, holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Babson College, and has been honored by the President of Italian Republic with an order or merit in 2010.
Erich Michel works at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) in New York as Managing Director and Head of the Commodity & Structured Trade Finance group, which is part of the Investment Banking Division for the Americas.
His main responsibilities include creating and managing a comprehensive trade finance product model for the bank throughout the Americas, working closely with the bank’s regional coverage teams, with particular focus on the agri, metals and energy sectors. He is in charge of providing trade finance product support to the bank’s clients, ranging from traditional to highly structured trade finance solutions. Furthermore, he is leading the development and integration of new trade finance products and technology in the Americas. Mr Michel has led the strategic growth of the trade finance business and built a platform that has seen significant improvement in product delivery and overall profitability for the bank.
Prior to this appointment, Mr Michel ran BBVA’s Structured Trade Finance Group in North America and led the bank’s efforts in originating and structuring of export and commodity trade finance transactions. During his nearly 13 years at BBVA, he also initiated a successful integration of trade finance products throughout the bank’s extensive network in Latin America. Under his leadership, the trade finance exposure grew to a multi-billion dollar portfolio. He was also a key figure for arranging some of the most profitable and award-winning transactions for the bank.
Mr Michel’s experience further includes management positions in global trade finance held at UBS and Swiss Bank Corporation, New York. He started his career in export finance at the Cantonal Bank of Berne, Switzerland.
Mr Michel has more than 20 years of experience in the trade finance area. He holds a graduate degree in finance from the Hoehere Fachschule fuer Wirtschaft in Berne, Switzerland. His is fluent in German, English and Spanish, and has proficient knowledge of French and basic Portuguese.
FT Contributors (2)
Neil Hume is the Commodities and Mining Editor of the Financial Times, a role he has held since September 2013. He covers the global trade of natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, copper and wheat as well as the political, social and economic aspects of the commodities industry and trading houses. Mr Hume joined the FT as senior stock markets correspondent in 2006. He also helped found FT Alphaville, the FT’s award-winning markets blog. He became editor of Alphaville in 2010 before being appointed the FT’s Australia correspondent in 2012. In addition to editing Alphaville, Mr Hume has written a weekly column for the FT and won best scoop article at the M&A International Media Awards in 2008 for his story on InBev’s takeover of Budweiser. Prior to joining the FT, he spent six years on The Guardian’s business desk. Mr Hume graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in History and Politics.
John Paul Rathbone
John Paul Rathbone was appointed Latin America Editor in April 2010, having previously edited the FT's Lex column. He joined the FT in 2008 from Breaking Views, where he was a financial commentator for several years and founding correspondent. Prior to that, he worked at Reuters and the World Bank. Mr Rathbone is a graduate of Oxford University, where he read Anthropology, and Columbia University, where he earned a Master's in Economics. He became a senior member of St Antony’s College, Oxford, in 2006. He is the author of The Sugar King of Havana: the rise and fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's last tycoon.
Opening keynote address and conversation
President Trump’s pledge to tear up trade deals and impose border tariffs could have far-reaching consequences for the agriculture industry in the Americas. For many major producers such as Brazil, Argentina and others, it could offer opportunities to further expand ties with food-importing countries which have traditionally relied on the US. At the same time, customers in fast-growing markets such as China and Asia are consolidating and using their size to buy directly from producers in the Americas and other regions. International trading companies and their regional counterparts, will discuss these themes and examine the opportunities they present as trade flows evolve. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macri’s tax reforms could be leading a shift in growers’ planting choices. What will this mean for the country’s farmers and traders?
Panel: Mining in the Americas
As the mining industry emerges from a protracted downturn, it is facing a new set of challenges. Workers, hit hard by years of relentless cost cutting, are now pushing for higher wages from companies still focused on strengthening their balance sheets and improving productivity. This is leading to strikes and supply disruptions for key metals like copper. The industry also needs to rebuild trust with investors and prove that it can grow again without repeating the expensive mistakes of the past. The panel will also discuss the outlook for mining in Argentina, which boasts significant deposits of lithium, one of the raw materials helping to power the growth of electric cars. In addition, much of the country remains unexplored, something that could catch the attention of international miners who are looking for new deposits.
Panel: Financing commodities in the Americas
Trade finance is the lifeblood of the commodities industry and an integral part of the global economy. In this panel, senior bankers and industry executives will discuss the key trends and issues shaping the provision of commodity trade finance across the continent. What sort of tools are most suited to the region, what are the challenges to doing business across the continent and how can these be addressed? Special focus will be paid to Argentina where interest rates present a unique challenge. The panel will also examine the outlook for deal-making.
Panel: Oil and gas in the Americas
Oil producing nations across Latin America were hit hard by the two-year downturn in oil prices, none more so than Venezuela, which has faced a severe economic downturn and the spectre of hyper-inflation. But with crude oil back above $50 a barrel, there are signs the industry is preparing to increase investment again. Mexico’s state oil company Pemex and BHP Billiton have joined forces to develop the Trion field in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, recent deals by major international oil companies have highlighted that Brazil’s oil and gas fields remain attractive as it establishes itself as one of the 10 largest producers in the world.
Latin America also has attractions for global trading houses. Due to the US shale revolution, producers across the continent must find new markets for their oil in more distant parts of the world. But they often lack the connections and logistical capabilities to tap consumers in Asia. This is where global oil traders, who are keen to find new sources of supply, can help. A group of industry executives will discuss these issues.
Panel: A renewables hub for Latin America
Argentina is one of the windiest and sunniest places in the world. The government wants to harness this natural bounty to generate a fifth of its power from renewable energy sources by 2025 - compared with less than 1 per cent today. A panel of experts will debate how realistic this target is and how Argentina can entice the foreign investment it needs to build a thriving renewables sector and a hub for Latin America in this fast-growing industry?
A View from the Top
Special focus: Shale gas: Fuelling Argentina’s energy sector
The vast Vaca Muerta formation in Patagonia boasts some of the largest reserves of shale oil and gas anywhere in the world, but so far production has failed to take off. With oil prices significantly higher than they were a year ago and drilling costs down, will that start to change? Foreign companies including Chevron, Dow, BP, Shell and Total, as well as Argentina’s state energy company YPF, recently agreed to invest $15bn a year in the country’s massive shale deposits in exchange for lower labour costs and extended state subsidies. What other steps should the government take to promote greater investment? Can lessons be learnt from other countries in the region? A panel of industry executives and experts will discuss the outlook and opportunities for oil and gas in Argentina.
Economic outlook: The Americas
A senior FT commentator in discussion with a senior banker or economist.
Closing Keynote Address
Why Should I Attend?
- Interact with leaders of the commodities industry who have special focus and interest in the region
- Hear from an expert panel of speakers and FT journalists, bringing the most pressing issues to life through a range of panel discussions and keynote speeches
- Analyze the latest supply and demand trends in the full range of commodities; from agriculture to energy to metals
Who Will I Be Meeting?
FT Live has a reputation for delivering very senior board level audiences to attend a wide range of world class thought-leadership events across the globe.
The FT Commodities Americas Summit will be attended by:
- C-Suite, VP and Directors
- Fund Managers
- Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC)
- Market Risk Analysts
- Commodity Traders
- Heads of Commodity Procurement
Fee (US Dollars)
Standard Summit Ticket
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 840,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.
Host Partner (1)
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve our customers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Our activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851 our portfolio has grown to include Oilseeds, Grains, Rice, Freight, Finance, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Juice, Dairy, Fertilizers & Inputs and Metals. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 81 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of 5 geographical regions and 12 platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs more than 22 000 people globally at peak season.
Gold Sponsor (1)
Brazil Potash Corp. is a private company with its base of technical operations located in Belo Horizonte Brazil and a corporate office in Toronto, Canada. Its primary focus is on exploration and development of its significant potash properties in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. The Company is positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for potassium-based fertilizers needed to grow healthy and sustainable crops in the agricultural sector in Brazil and globally. Brazil Potash Corp. holds key mineral rights to the world class, 400-kilometer long Amazon potash basin. Initial geological, seismic and borehole surveys indicate that the basin has similar scale, geological properties, and is the same age as the Saskatchewan basin in Canada. Access to important agricultural consumers and the presence of two ports within the Property boundary provide a competitive advantage to potash produced in this area relative to competitors. Brazil Potash Corp. expects to develop its extensive property in the State of Amazonas, Brazil into one of the world’s largest strategic, scalable and reliable sources of potash. Brazil Potash Corp. is an innovative, forward looking mining company with the exploration and production capabilities to delineate, finance, produce and market low-cost, high-quality potash required by a variety of modern fertilizer products.
Associate Sponsor (1)
Korn Ferry is the preeminent authority on leadership and talent. For nearly half a century, clients have trusted us to recruit world-class leaders. Today, we are their partner in designing organizational strategy and developing their people to achieve unimaginable success.
Supporting Partners (2)
Commodities Now: The print and online resource for the traded commodity markets. Since 1997 we have been developing our expertise and market connections to provide commodity market professionals and the wider investment community with dedicated research and intelligence on the commodity complex. As well as the published magazine, our online presence –www.commodities-now.com– provides updated news, key press releases, data, charts, research and reports dedicated to these markets. Commodities Now covers: Power & Energy, Industrial & Precious Metals, Agriculture & Softs, Renewable Energy, Emission Markets, Commodity Logistics, Legal, Regulatory Policy, Research & Specialist Technology.
The International Aluminium Institute is a global industry association representing over 60% of global bauxite, alumina and aluminium production. Through the IAI, the aluminium industry promotes a wider understanding of its activities and demonstrates both its responsibility in producing the metal and the potential benefits of its products in sustainable applications and through recycling .
Media Partner (1)
AméricaEconomía Media Group is the only publisher that reaches all of Latin America. Through its local and international editions the magazine brings the region’s most important business news to C-suite readers from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. This readership of over 120,000 print readers is added to by the 1,5 million unique users that visit americaeconomia.com every month. AméricaEconomía also treats its audience to live events. With over 30 years experience in the region AméricaEconmía reaches a loyal audience of over 2 million Latin American business professionals.
Chile’s Codelco vows to lead as copper industry faces pay battle
- Featuring comments by FT Commodities Americas Summit speaker, Iván Arriagada, Chief Executive Officer, Antofagasta