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FT Commodities Tokyo Summit 2019

Tokyo |
Speakers include:
Masahiko  Oshima

Masahiko Oshima


Sarah Behbehani

Sarah Behbehani

JERA Global Markets

Toshitaka Sekine

Toshitaka Sekine

Bank of Japan


Responsible sourcing, sustainability and the shift to cleaner forms of energy are among the big structural changes shaking the world of natural resources. As one of the world’s biggest buyers of commodities, Japan must adapt to these trends while at the same time ensuring security of supply for its manufacturing base, particularly its car makers and steel producers.

While Japan is playing a key role in the burgeoning market for cleaner-burning LNG, it is also the only advanced major economy still planning new coal-fired power stations. At the same time, questions remain about the future of the country’s nuclear industry as competition for the commodities, which will be needed in the transition to a lower carbon future, becomes more intense.

With contributions from leading industry executives and thinkers, this year’s programme will provide unique and valuable insights on they key trends driving the industry as well as the impact of the US-China trade skirmish on commodities markets and the outlook for the Japanese economy.

fallback Add to my Calendar 11/01/2019 08:30:0011/01/2019 17:30:00trueFT Commodities Tokyo Summit 2019Responsible sourcing, sustainability and the shift to cleaner forms of energy are among the big structural changes shaking the world of natural resources. As one of the world’s biggest buyers of commodities, Japan must adapt to these trends while at the same time ensuring security of supply for its manufacturing base, particularly its car makers and steel producers.While Japan is playing a key role in the burgeoning market for cleaner-burning LNG, it is also the only advanced major economy still planning new coal-fired power stations. At the same time, questions remain about the future of the country’s nuclear industry as competition for the commodities, which will be needed in the transition to a lower carbon future, becomes more intense.With contributions from leading industry executives and thinkers, this year’s programme will provide unique and valuable insights on they key trends driving the industry as well as the impact of the US-China trade skirmish on commodities markets and the outlook for the Japanese economy.FT-Commodities-Tokyo-Summit-20199fa4a9a6dff611c86efaeeb231d78abfMM/DD/YYYY



Speakers (26)

Masahiko  Oshima

Masahiko Oshima

Deputy President and Head of International Business Unit

Masahiko Oshima is the Deputy President and Head of International Business Unit at both Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

Mr Oshima is an experienced international banker and has spent 18 years working in London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Since joining the bank in 1984, he has been responsible for many aspects of SMBC Group's business, including large corporates in both international and domestic markets, debt and equity capital markets, mid-cap corporates and transaction banking. Mr Oshima also has significant experience in strategic planning, regulatory compliance, governance, cybersecurity, and investor relations through his assignments as Senior Managing Director responsible for corporate planning as well as Head of EMEA, CEO of SMBC Europe, GM of Planning, Americas Division, and GM of investor Relations.

Mr Oshima holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Sarah Behbehani

Sarah Behbehani

Global Head of LNG
JERA Global Markets

Sarah is the Global Head of LNG for JERA Global Markets, responsible for leading all commercial activities in LNG trading and optimisation, currently located in Singapore. Prior to JERA GM, Sarah was leading Shell’s LNG trading activities in the west since 2010, and was a key member of integrating Repsol’s and BG’s LNG portfolio into shell’s and growing the trading activities for Shell in the Middle East and Atlantic Basin. 

Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in Oil and LNG trading and marketing business and served roles in the Kuwait, London and Dubai. She graduated with a degree of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering from the US and then obtained an MBA from London Business School.

Toshitaka Sekine

Toshitaka Sekine

Director General, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies
Bank of Japan

Toshitaka Sekine is the Director General, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies. Prior to this De Sekine was the Director General for the Research and Statistics Department at the Bank of Japan. Dr Sekine is responsible for reporting staff’s conjectural analysis and the outlook for Japan’s economy to the Monetary Policy Meeting. He is also responsible for the compilation and development of various statistics created by the Bank. Prior to taking up the current position, he spent many years as an economist at the Bank of Japan as well as at the BIS and the IMF. His research includes inflation dynamics, exchange-rate pass-through, corporate investment and bank lending behaviour. He received a BA from the University of Tokyo and a DPhil from Oxford University.

Yasushi  Aoki

Yasushi Aoki

Managing Executive Officer
Nippon Steel Corporation

Mr. Aoki joined Nippon Steel Corporation in April 1983.

During his 36 years with the company, he was in charge of various responsibilities mainly in steel raw materials business.

From late 80’s to the late 90’s he was with the raw materials procurement team, where he was Manager for coal and also ferrous alloys in Tokyo Head Quarter.

During this period he also served as representative of Nippon Steel USA in New York City in charge of steel raw materials business, namely coking coal, iron ore and steel scrap.

After his return from the US, he took various positions in the company such as Corporate Secretariat, and Group Manager for global marketing of hot rolled steel products.

He also served as Managing Director for Nippon Steel (Thailand) from April 2007, based in Bangkok, to oversee the business in the South East Asian region.

In April 2011, he returned to Tokyo and became Head of Division for Coal business, and from April 2015, he became Head of Division responsible for iron ore and ferroalloy business and also steel raw materials transportation.

Since April 2018 he became Managing Executive Officer and looks after the whole steel raw material businesses for the company.

Neil Atkinson

Neil Atkinson

Head, Oil Industry and Markets Division (OIMD)
Directorate of Energy Markets and Security International Energy Agency (IEA)

Neil Atkinson is Head of OIMD and his primary role is editor of the monthly Oil Market Report. In addition, he oversees the publication of OIMD’s annual five-year oil market forecast and he interacts with IEA member governments, external stakeholders and the media on oil market issues.

A British citizen, Mr Atkinson joined the IEA in January 2016 following 36 years of experience in oil analysis/management positions at Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.,Platt’s, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Energy Intelligence Group, KBC Energy Economics and Informa plc. He was Honorary Secretary of the British Institute of Energy Economics and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers in London.

William  Chin

William Chin

Head of Commodities, Derivatives
Singapore Exchange

William Chin is Senior Vice President and Head of Commodities at Singapore Exchange.

William joined SGX in 2015, and is responsible for the strategy and direction of the Commodities business at the SGX covering the bulks, freight, energy and rubber markets. In 2016, he was a key member of the team involved in the acquisition of the Baltic Exchange.

Prior to SGX, William was SVP of Commodities at the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, and Head of LME Asia in Singapore, responsible for the LME’s presence and growth in the Asia region.

He began his career in the New Zealand financial markets as a rates and FX trader for ANZ investment bank in Wellington before joining Barclays Capital in London, and later on as Head of Commodities and Energy Risk at the LCH.Clearnet covering base and precious metals, power, gas, freight and agricultural products.

William holds a Masters degree in Applied Finance from the Victoria University of Wellington and is a CFA charterholder.

Gillian Davidson

Gillian Davidson

Sustainability Adviser
Eurasian Resources Group (ERG)

Gillian Davidson has responsibility for advising on ERG’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategy and leading its Clean Cobalt Initiative.

Prior to ERG, Gillian was Head of Mining & Metals at the World Economic Forum, where she was in charge of global and regional engagement as well as multi-stakeholder initiatives to advance responsible and sustainable mining. Gillian previously served as Director of Social Responsibility at Teck Resources, in which capacity she supported social and environmental commitments and monitored performance across the mining lifecycle. Gillian has further held a number of roles related to community development, environment and natural resources in government, civil society and academia.

Gillian Davidson is chair of International Women in Mining and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Lydian International and New Gold and Chairs their Sustainability Committees.

Gillian holds a PhD in Development Economics and Geography from the University of Liverpool.

Simon  Farry

Simon Farry

Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Iron Ore
Rio Tinto

Simon Farry is the Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Iron Ore. In his role, Simon has accountability for leading the global sales and marketing activities for Rio Tinto’s iron ore products, as well as representing Rio Tinto on key joint ventures.

Simon joined Rio Tinto subsidiary Comalco in 1995, as a graduate at New Zealand Aluminum Smelters. His experience includes operational, commercial and leadership roles based in New  Zealand, Australia, Japan, England, France and Singapore. Prior to joining the Iron Ore group, Simon was Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Copper & Diamonds. Simon also has extensive experience in the Aluminum group where he established Rio Tinto Aluminum’s commercial hub in Singapore, and managed the sales and marketing for primary aluminum, alumina, and bauxite in the Asia Pacific region.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Science and Post Graduate Diploma from Otago University in New Zealand.

Simon is based in Singapore with his wife Karienne. They have two daughters, Georgia and Safia.

Tsuyoshi Ishide

Tsuyoshi Ishide

Head of Resources, Energy and Infrastructure, Japan
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Tsuyoshi ISHIDE is Head of Resources, Energy and Infrastructure, Japan and responsible for global accounts management of the Japanese clients in those sectors, such as General Trading Companies, Utilities, and the companies of Oil & Gas, Metal & Mining, etc. He also supervises the bank’s relationship with the Japanese clients in some diversified industries, such as Food-Beverage-Agri, Constructions, Housing, Chemicals, Supermarket, etc.

Prior to joining ANZ in September 2015, Ishide spent more than 30 years for banking, out of which he had been engaged for 20 years in the investment banking, such as project finance, structured finance, ECA finance, commodity finance, trade finance, supply chain finance, etc at Fuji Bank (merged into Mizuho Corporate Bank), Fortis Bank (merged into BNP Paribas) and National Australia Bank.  Prior to such investment banking experience, he spent 6 years to work for Fuji Bank’s Hong Kong Branch (1989-2005) where he was engaged in local corporate banking, aircraft leasing and international syndication.

In his carrier at ANZ, Ishide is working to develop the bank’s relationship with the Japanese clients in the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors, through a wide range of product line-ups, on a global basis under ANZ’s franchise areas.  He also supervises the bank’s relationship with the Japanese clients in some diversified industries.

Prakash Jhanwer

Prakash Jhanwer

President and Regional Head of Southeast Asia and China

Prakash Jhanwer joined Olam in 1998, taking responsibility for coffee operations in Uganda.

He moved into the risk function in 2001 and relocated to Vietnam in 2007 to take on the role of Country Head, extending to a regional role in 2010. Since 2016, he has been responsible for Olam’s Southeast Asia and China operations, which he continues to manage today. His key markets include China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

Prakash is a Graduate of Commerce and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He was recently awarded the prestigious Young Alumni Achiever Award by his alma mater for Corporate Leadership.

Nobuyuki  Kawabata

Nobuyuki Kawabata

Managing Executive Officer and Deputy Head of International Banking Unit, SMBC
Managing Executive Officer International Business Unit, SMBC

Nobuyuki Kawabata was appointed Managing Executive Officer and Deputy Head of the International Banking Unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) on April 1, 2019. He had been CEO of the Americas Division and Managing Executive Officer of SMBC since April 1, 2016, and was appointed Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) on April 1, 2017.

Prior to his recent appointment, Mr Kawabata was Director and General Manager, Planning Department, with responsibility for corporate planning for SMBC’s Americas Division, a position he held since April 2014. He was promoted to General Manager of the Planning Department, Americas Division, in April 2010. During 9 years, the Americas Division has tripled its revenue and expanded new business including full scale of Broker Dealer (Nikko America), acquired Aircraft Leasing from RBS and Railcar Leasing from Perella Weinberg Partners.

Mr Kawabata was previously Joint General Manager of Planning for International Banking Unit in Tokyo where he focused on SMBC’s international strategic direction including alternative investment (and introduced Hedge Fund / PE Fund to start in Tokyo) and alliances with Bank of East Asia in Hong Kong and Kookmin Bank in South Korea.

Mr Kawabata came to New York in June 2000. As Senior Vice President of Planning for the Americas Division, he planned business strategy and headed the Tax Department of the Americas Division. His achievements include US tax exempt merger of Sakura Bank and Sumitomo Bank to form SMBC; the establishment of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), a holding company of which SMBC is a wholly-owned subsidiary; the merger of Wakashio Bank, and an advanced pricing agreement with the New York Branch and Tokyo head office.

Prior to coming to New York, Mr Kawabata had been stationed in Tokyo. In July 1998, he was assigned Team Leader of Planning for the Capital Markets Group. Over the course of two years, he helped to engineer the formation of DLJDirect SFG Securities, a joint venture with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette that established one of the first online discount brokerage firms in Japan; a joint venture with Daiwa Securities to form Daiwa Securities SMBC, a principal investments together with fund of Hedge Funds; and the negotiation of the tax exempt transaction of Sumitomo Bank Capital Markets’ interests in Goldman Sachs at the time of Goldman’s IPO.

In April 1991, Mr. Kawabata was appointed Manager and later Vice President of the Bank’s International Planning Department where he focused on strategising overseas capital market activities and international new business. He oversaw the expansion of the Bank’s securities business in Europe, the first appearance of a Japanese bank into hedge funds, and the execution of the functional reorganisation of the Bank’s US and European operations.

Mr Kawabata joined Sumitomo Bank, a predecessor of SMBC, in 1986 as a marketing officer in the Bank’s Marunouchi Branch at Tokyo, where he focused on middle market clients.

Mr Kawabata was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, in 1963. He holds a B.A. degree in Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. 

Mitsuyasu Kawaguchi

Mitsuyasu Kawaguchi

General Manager,Crude & Tanker dept.
Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd.

Mr Kawaguchi has 24 years of experience in Crude/Petroleum Product trading and marketing at Japanese refiner, Cosmo Oil Co.,Ltd.

He joined the Tokyo branch in 1993 as a Marketing staff , and his previous roles include Assistant Manager at Aviation Fuel Marketing in Cosmo Tokyo HQ 1996-2000, Manager of derivative trading at Cosmo Oil of USA (New York office) 2003-2006. Following this he was in charge of developing petroleum products marketing network in the states of California, USA as Chief Operation Officer of Cosmo Oil of USA 2006-2010. Following this, he was Group manager at the  Products Trading Department, in Cosmo Tokyo HQ 2010-2014, Vice President of Cosmo Oil International Pte. Ltd 2014-2017, before being appointed to his current role since 2017.

He has graduated Tsukuba University with a Linguistics major in 1990, followed by spending a year at the Beijing Foreign Language Institute with a Chinese Language major 1991, before acquiring his B.A in Language Education on 1993.

Yao Li

Yao Li

Founder and CEO
SIA Energy

Yao Li is the founder and CEO of SIA Energy with 20 years of energy industry experience. SIA Energy is a China-focused energy consulting firm offering insight and data on Chinese energy policy, markets and players, covering the full oil and gas value chain.Ms Li assists SIA’s international clients on investment and growth in China, and Chinese entities looking for entry and expansion abroad. SIA also works closely with various government agencies as a key energy policy advisor.

Prior to founding SIA, Ms Li served as Senior Director of PFC Energy’s China office for over seven years, lived and worked in the Middle East for six years. Ms Li holds a Master of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

John  O’Brien

John O’Brien

Partner, Energy Transition & Decarbonisation
Deloitte Financial Advisory, Australia

John joined Deloitte in 2018 with over 20 years’ experience in the Australian and Asian clean energy and clean technology sectors.

He is a strategic advisor to industry, government and investors on energy transition, decarbonisation, renewable energy and the clean technology sector. His expertise includes strategy development, commercial and financial analysis, project development, project financing, risk and opportunity assessment and policy and acquisition advice. John is a current member of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Technical Advisory Panel.

John started his career in the oil & gas industry in Scotland and Syria, engineering roles in London and Adelaide before joining Origin Energy in operations and corporate development. In 2007, John established Australian CleanTech, a strategic and corporate advisory firm focussed on the growth of energy and environmental technologies. During this time he represented South Australia at global climate change conferences through his role on the Premier’s Climate Change Council. 

John has engineering degrees from the University of Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from the University of Adelaide. He is widely published including two books on the opportunities emerging from the transition to a low carbon economy. The most recent book, Visions 2100, was launched at the Paris COP21 Climate Conference in 2015.

Some of the projects that John has led recently include: Decarbonisation Strategies, COAG Energy Council Hydrogen Task Force, Hydrogen Value Chain & Pathways, Low Emissions Gas, Energy Storage Market Entry, Renewable Energy Investment.

Geoff Raby

Geoff Raby

Chairman & CEO, Geoff Raby & Associates
Director, Yancoal

Dr Geoff Raby was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. Following completion of his Ambassadorial term, after 27 years in the public service, mostly with DFAT, he resigned to establish Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd.

Dr Raby also holds a number of non-executive, independent director positions with ASX-listed companies, i.e. OceanaGold, Yancoal and iSentia. Dr Raby was appointed to the Investment Attraction South Australia Advisory Board on 29 March, 2016. In China, Dr. Raby serves as Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s China practice. He is head of Trade Policy at the London-based think-tank Policy Exchange.
Dr. Raby is a member of the non-for- profit Advance Global Advisory Board, University of Sydney’s China Studies Center Advisory Board, La Trobe University Asia Advisory Board, and the Foundation of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Yasuo  Ryoki

Yasuo Ryoki

Chairman, Osaka Gas Australia &
Advisor, Osaka Gas

Mr. Yasuo Ryoki joined Osaka Gas in 1979. He has been active in wide areas of businesses in Osaka Gas Group until today. In particular, in Energy Resources Business Unit, he led LNG procurement and resale, investments in upstream assets, LNG tankers and overseas receiving terminals for more than 13 years in total.

In addition to Acting Head in Energy Resources Business Unit, he has served as a manager of corporate planning, capital markets finance, GM of residential sales, and as the CEO of functional chemical subsidiaries (Osaka Gas Chemicals Group). Since 2013, he was appointed as the Senior Executive Officer and Director of the Board of Osaka Gas and as the Head of Commercial and Industrial Marketing Business Unit where he promoted gas marketing businesses in Asian countries in addition to demand development activities in Japan. From April 2016, he gives advice to Osaka Gas Group’s international strategy and management of upstream companies as an Advisor to Osaka Gas and as a Chairman of Osaka Gas Australia.

Nigel Scott

Nigel Scott

Managing Director & Global Head, Structured Trade & Commodity Finance
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Currently Global Head of Structured Trade and Commodity Finance for SMBC, Nigel’s teams at SMBC are dually
responsible for Coverage - managing the client relationships with the global and regional commodity traders,
some producers and some refiners; and Product - delivering commodity finance and structured trade finance
products to all the bank’s global clients.

Nigel began his career as a graduate trainee and then commodity trader at Cargill from 1991-2000, working as a
commodity trader in a number of divisions globally including grain, milling, and cotton.

Most recently Nigel was General Manager, Global Head of Global Trade Finance for Commonwealth Bank of
Australia 2017-19 responsible for product, sales, platform and operations. Previously, Nigel was Global Head of
Agribusiness – food, beverage & agribusiness - of ANZ Bank 2010-15, a global segment coverage role, setting
strategy and running all the bank’s global relationships from ‘paddock to plate’.

Formerly Nigel was the founding global head of J.P. Morgan’s energy, base and precious metals commodity
finance and carbon business in 2005-2007.

Nigel was Fund Manager, Investment Committee Member and Key Man at Climate Change Capital from 2007-
2010, managing the funds and trading book of CCC’s flagship carbon funds of $1.1 billion. Institutional Investors
in the funds included APG and PGGM, along with Centrica. Prior to this he was dual global head of commodity
derivatives and commodity finance at Rabobank International for 5 years, 2000-05.

Nigel is an experienced and active commodity arbitrator and mediator, with 25 years of commodity arbitration
and mediation experience

Benedikt  Sobotka

Benedikt Sobotka

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG)

Benedikt Sobotka is the CEO of Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a leading producer of natural resources that employs 85,000 people on four continents. Mr Sobotka was born in Germany and has extensive experience in advisory/management roles in the mining and energy sectors. At BCG, he advised leading companies and held various management positions. Benedikt founded Minerals Values Service (MVS), among other high-tech startups, which was sold to Platts/Dow Jones in 2015. He holds a degree in management, studied in Europe, Russia and China and co-authored "China Champions", a Financial Times publication. He is particularly interested in international, CIS and East Asian geopolitical relations.

In 2017, ERG helped launch the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum initiative aimed at achieving a responsible battery supply chain. ERG is a founding member and partner of the Alliance while Benedikt is a co-chair. Aiming to ensure sustainable cobalt production and drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ERG initiated the Clean Cobalt programme. ERG’s Metalkol RTR project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is set to become one of the world’s leading cobalt producers and supply enough material to build over three million electric vehicles per year.

James MacTaggart

James MacTaggart

Senior Vice President, LNG Marketing – Asia and Middle East
NextDecade Corporation

James MacTaggart is Senior Vice President, LNG Marketing – Asia and Middle East, of NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT). NextDecade is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) development company focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in Texas. NextDecade intends to develop the largest LNG export solution linking Permian Basin associated gas to the global LNG market.

James is based in, and leads, NextDecade’s Singapore office. In this role, he is responsible for advancing prospective customer engagement throughout Asia and the Middle East, and recently executed the first LNG contract supplying LNG from the United States, indexed to oil.

Before joining NextDecade, James served more than 20 years with Shell in various marketing and trading positions. His last role was General Manager of Shell’s New Gas and LNG Markets business in Asia, India, and the Middle East. During his time at Shell, he originated, negotiated, and executed
a significant number of deals in the upstream, gas and power, and LNG trading businesses. These activities included setting up Shell Energy India, negotiating LNG sales contracts for the Sakhalin 2 LNG project, and selling the first LNG cargoes into the Middle East.

James completed his undergraduate studies in classical and modern Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and holds an M.B.A. with distinction from Cass Business School.

Kikuko Takeda

Kikuko Takeda

Principal Economist, Economic Research Department
Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA)

Kikuko Takeda is Principal Economist of the Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA) since July 2017.

After graduating from Keio University, Ms Takeda entered the Bank of Tokyo (now MUFG Bank). She has served mostly as an economist for the bank. Ms Takeda was the founding member of Global Currency Research which was officially implemented in 1999. She served as a Senior Currency Economist from 2007 to 2014 at MUFG’s European Headquarters in London, before joining the Institute for International Monetary Affairs (IIMA) in October 2015 as Senior Economist. She was appointed to Principal Economist in July 2017.

Ms Takeda is an elected member of the Conference of Business Economists, an invitation-only organisation of economists in the United States. The IIMA was established in 1995, as a non-profit research organisation, with a basic capital from the Bank of Tokyo (currently MUFG Bank) on the occasion of the Bank of Tokyo’s merger to form a commercial bank. The Bank of Tokyo had accumulated knowledge and experience in the field of international finance and currencies and the purposes of setting-up the IIMA were to pass on to future generations and to utilise such expertise of the Bank of Tokyo in the public interest through research in the international monetary field.

Nobuo Tanaka

Nobuo Tanaka

Chairman, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Former Executive Director, International Energy Agency

Nobuo Tanaka is Chairman of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation. He had been a former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from 2007 to August 2011.

Mr Tanaka began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and has served in a number of high-ranking positions, including Director-General of the Multilateral Trade System Department. He was Minister for Industry, Trade and Energy at the Embassy of Japan, Washington DC. Mr Tanaka has also served twice as Director for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) of the Paris-based international organisation, OECD.

Richard Horrocks-Taylor

Richard Horrocks-Taylor

Global Head of Metals and Mining
Standard Chartered

Richard Horrocks-Taylor has over 25 years’ experience as a corporate finance adviser to companies in the Metals & Mining sector.  Before joining Standard Chartered in August 2018, Mr Horrocks-Taylor was Regional Head of RBC Capital Markets Metals & Mining Group based in London where he spent 13 years advising clients on M&A and capital markets transactions.  Prior to RBC, Mr Horrocks-Taylor worked for 8 years at Flemings/JPMorgan in London, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.  Mr Horrocks-Taylor was also one of the founders of Hatch Corporate Finance in 2003.   Mr Horrocks-Taylor has extensive advisory experience with large to mid-cap clients including Glencore, ArcelorMittal, Barrick, First Quantum and Orion Mine Finance.

Gavin Thompson

Gavin Thompson

Vice Chairman, Energy – Asia Pacific
Wood Mackenzie

Gavin joined Wood Mackenzie in 1997. His expertise spans across the Asia Pacific commodity sectors, and in particular, helping companies identify and build their international growth strategies. 

He has led a range of consultancy and research projects with domestic and international energy companies across the region, providing LNG project evaluation and provincial gas price forecasting. 

In 2017, Gavin took the role of Head of Asia Pacific research, and led a team of around 100 analysts. Most recently in 2019, Gavin was appointed Vice Chairman, Energy for the company's Asia Pacific business. He is based in Singapore and frequently travels the region to meet with clients. 


BA (First Class Hons), Newcastle University in Politics, Economics and Chinese language.

Ernie  Thrasher

Ernie Thrasher

Chief Executive Officer
Xcoal Energy & Resources

Ernie Thrasher has over forty (40) years’ experience in the coal industry. His coal experience began in 1974 working for a family owned mining company with

operations in Maryland. Thrasher held various positions in mine operations and mine management through 1981. Prior to forming Xcoal Energy & Resources in 2003, Thrasher spent twenty-two (22) years in various global marketing positions at Primary Coal and AMCI.

Xcoal is the largest exporter of U.S. origin coal. In addition to marketing U.S. origin coal to customers throughout the world, Xcoal activities include the financing and development of mining projects and related infrastructure projects. Thrasher founded XLNG Energy & Resources in 2015, which is marketing LNG originating from global sources with emphasis on natural gas reserves in the Marcellus and Utica

Shale basins in the U.S., to customers in South America, Europe, and Asia. Thrasher serves as a Director of Coronado Global Resources, on the President’s Leadership Council-Boy Scouts of America, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves as a Director on the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, and serves as a Director of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

Jamie  Webster

Jamie Webster

Senior Director, Center for Energy Impact
Boston Consulting Group

Jamie Webster is a Senior Director at BCG's Center for Energy Impact. He joined BCG in 2016 as an expert in energy markets and geopolitics to include oil market balance evaluation, OPEC analysis and identification of energy policy. He is a non-resident fellow at Columbia's Center on Global Energy Policy.

He is the founder of BCG's Energy Economist Forum, a gathering of the top energy economists from energy companies, discussing evolving issues of interest, as well as improving the quality of the output and interaction of this function with the rest of the organisation.

Mr Webster’s project experience includes: IMO as a planned energy transition and the economic and policy impacts of scrubbers;  Analysis of changing oil market structure and impact on oil prices and volatility; Organizational design of the Chief Economist and external environment function; Impact of changing US oil export policy on domestic pricing for oil and gasoline as well as differential production outlooks, and changes in trade flows; Evaluation of changes in OPEC policy and factors that could modify its stance; Systems design analysis of the shale evolution and what it means for company strategy.

Prior to joining BCG, Mr Webster worked at IHS as a Vice President where he led the oil markets capability with a geographically dispersed team of 20+. Before IHS, Mr Webster was a Director at PFC Energy, where he managed the company’s oil market analysis and long-term energy scenarios.

Mr Webster is a frequent public speaker on energy issues, and is regularly quoted and seen in the press. He has testified multiple times to both houses of the US Congress.

Akira  Yabumoto

Akira Yabumoto

Director, Energy Resources Strategy, Energy Planning Department, J Power

Akira Yabumoto is in charge of analysing energy resource markets, value chains and policy issues for electricity business strategy at Japanese power wholesaler J-Power.

Since joining J-Power in 1989, he has held various positions in regulatory affairs and policy analysis, focusing on strategic planning and business development in an evolving competitive environment.

He was seconded to the International Energy Agency in 2009, where he spent two years as an energy analyst looking at the electricity sector.


FT Moderators (6)

Angela Mackay

Angela Mackay

Global Publisher, FT Live and Managing Director Asia Pacific
Financial Times

Angela Mackay is Global Publisher of FT Live and Managing Director of Asia Pacific at the Financial Times. Based in Hong Kong, she is a member of the FT’s global board.

In Asia Pacific, Ms Mackay focuses on developing the group’s significant potential across the region. This includes, the mainland's leading foreign-owned, Chinese-language news site.

As Global Publisher for FT Live, Ms Mackay leads business and strategy development for events, membership and communities, such as 125 Forum and the Non-Executive Director (NED) programmes. The FT stages more than 200 events around the world annually.

Ms Mackay also holds wider responsibility across the FT Group, as Chair of Longitude, a specialist thought-leadership and research company acquired by the FT in 2018, and as Chair of scoutAsia, a corporate data and news service jointly founded by the FT and Nikkei.

Ms Mackay joined the FT in 2003 on the editorial team, serving as the Asia investment editor for two years. Before joining the FT, she was Asia editor for Sunday Business from 1998 to 2001. Her previous roles include editor at The Economist Group, supervising producer at CNBC, deputy news editor at The Times in London, and UK correspondent for the Australian Financial Review.

Ms Mackay is a Non-Executive Director of the FT/IE Corporate Learning Alliance, and a board member of Asian Youth Orchestra, Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Sovereign Art Foundation.

She holds a BA in English Literature and an LLB, and was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia.

Neil Hume

Neil Hume

Natural Resources Editor
Financial Times

Neil Hume is the Natural Resources Editor of the Financial Times. Prior to this he was Commodities and Mining Editor, a role he had 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, he 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.

Martin Wolf CBE

Martin Wolf CBE

Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator
Financial Times

Martin Wolf is Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 “for services to financial journalism”. He was a member of the UK government’s Independent Commission on Banking between June 2010 and September 2011. Mr Wolf is an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University and King’s College, London. He is also an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham. In 2014, he was made a University Global Fellow of Columbia University, and a Senior Fellow in Global Economic Policy at its School of International Public Affairs. He is a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum.
Mr Wolf has been included in Foreign Policy’s list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. He has won the Wincott Foundation senior prize for excellence in financial journalism, the RTZ David Watt memorial prize, the Journalism Prize of the Fundacio Catalunya Oberta (Open Catalonia Foundation), Commentator of the Year at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards, the “Ludwig-Erhard Preis für Wirtschaftspublizistik” (“Ludwig Erhard Prize for economic commentary”), and “Commentariat of the Year” at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards. The Society of American Business Editors and Writers recognised Mr Wolf in its Best in Business Journalism competition. He has also won the Ischia International Journalism Prize and the Overseas Press Club of America’s prize for “best commentary on international news in any medium”.
His most recent publications are Fixing Global Finance (Washington D.C: Johns Hopkins University Press, and London: Yale University Press, 2008 and 2010) and The Shifts and The Shocks: What we’ve learned – and have still to learn – from the financial crisis (London and New York: Allen Lane, 2014). Mr Wolf was educated at Oxford University. He has honorary doctorates from Nottingham University, Kingston University, Macquarie University, the London School of Economics, Warwick University and KU Leuven.

Kana  Inagaki

Kana Inagaki

Tokyo Correspondent
Financial Times

Kana Inagaki is a Tokyo Correspondent for Financial Times, and writes about Japanese businesses and technology. She joined the FT in 2014 after four years as a Tokyo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, where she covered the technology sector, M&A and markets. Prior to The Journal, Inagaki worked at Kyodo News, covering market and corporate news. She began her career at the Tokyo bureau of Associated Press, covering Japanese politics. She is a native of Vancouver, Canada, and earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago.

David  Sheppard

David Sheppard

Energy Editor
Financial Times

David Sheppard is Energy Editor at the Financial Times. He joined the FT as Deputy Commodities Editor in April 2016, following an 8 year career at Reuters covering oil markets and the Middle East from London, New York and Iraq.

A Gerald Loeb award winner, he helps coordinate the FT's coverage of oil and commodity markets, as well as focusing on trading houses and investment banks in the sector.

Robin Harding

Robin Harding

Tokyo Bureau Chief
Financial Times

Robin Harding is Tokyo Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, covering the Japanese economy, politics and foreign relations. He was previously based in Washington DC, where he covered all aspects of the US and international economy, from the Federal Reserve to the IMF.

Mr Harding was born in Durham, in the north of England, and has degrees in economics from the University of Cambridge and Hitotsubashi University. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in banking, asset management and public policy research. 


Agenda - 1st Nov

  • 8:30am
    Registration and Networking
  • 9:30am
    Welcome Address

    Angela Mackay, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Financial Times; Global Publisher, FT Live

    Chair’s Opening Remarks

    Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:40am
    Global Economic Debate​

    Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

    Toshitaka Sekine,  Director-General,  Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan

    Kikuko Takeda, Principal Economist, Institute for International Monetary Affairs

    Moderator: Robin Harding, Tokyo Bureau Chief, Financial Times

  • 10:25am
    The Future of Coal in Asia

    Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are the big end markets driving demand for high quality thermal coal in North Asia. But for how much longer? In Japan, utility companies are facing pressure to move away from coal burning and while coal-to-gas switching hasn't happened yet, that could all change if coal-indexed LNG pricing takes over. Nuclear restarts and cost-competitive renewables provide further competition. Meanwhile, South Korea has suspended coal plants more than 30 years old, adding to the increasingly unclear picture for coal demand in the region. 

    Moderator: Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

    Geoffrey Raby, Chairman & CEO, Geoff Raby & Associates; Director, Yancoal 
    Ernie Thrasher, Chief Executive Officer, XCoal Energy & Resources 
    Akiro Yabumoto, Director, Energy Resources Strategy, J Power

  • 10:55am
  • 11:20am
    The Sustainability Imperative

    Society is demanding more of the commodities industry. It’s no longer enough just to use natural resources to increase profits and deliver strong returns to shareholders.  Today, stakeholders - be it customers, regulators or employees - also want companies to demonstrate that they are making a positive contribution to society and the environment. This panel will hear how the industry is responding to this challenge and the steps they are taking to make sure their business models are sustainable. 

    Moderator: Kana Inagaki, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times

    Panel Keynote: Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer, ERG

    Prakash Jhanwer, Regional Head for South East Asia & China, Olam International  
    Nobuo Tanaka, Chairman, Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Former Director General, IEA 
    John O’Brien, Partner, Energy Transition & Decarbonisation, Deloitte Financial Advisory Pty Ltd 

  • 12:05pm
    LNG: Down but not out

    The LNG market is in the doldrums. The price of spot cargoes in Asia has fallen to less than half the level of a year ago, as the market struggles to absorb a glut as new supplies from the US and Australia. Demand has also been tepid.  But what about the long-term outlook for the super-chilled fuel? Are the supply and demand fundamentals still positive? 

    While production will keep growing over the next few years, LNG bulls reckon consumption will recover as the world looks to reduce its reliance on thermal coal. At the same time, fast-growing countries across the region - lacking pipeline infrastructure - will look to LNG for their energy needs, they say. In this panel, a group of industry experts and executives will pick apart these arguments and deliver their verdict on the LNG market. 

    Moderator: David Sheppard, Energy Editor, Financial Times

    Sarah Behbehani, Senior Vice President of LNG, Jera Global Markets
    Yao Li, Founder & CEO, SIA Energy
    James MacTaggart, Senior Vice President, LNG Marketing – Asia and Middle East, NextDecade Corporation 
    Yasuo Ryoki, Advisor, Osaka Gas; Chairman, Osaka Gas Australia

  • 12:50pm
  • 1:50pm
    Iron Ore: Peak Pricing

    Iron ore prices have surged this year as Chinese steel production has surprised on the upside, and supply has faltered because of a deadly dam disaster in Brazil and bad weather in Australia. However, the increase in prices is likely to trigger a supply response that could put a ceiling on the rally. But where will the fresh production come from?

    Moderator: Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

    William Chin, Head of Commodities, SGX (Singapore Stock Exchange)
    Simon Farry, Vice President, Iron Ore Sales & Marketing, Rio Tinto
    Yasushi Aoki, Managing Executive Officer, Nippon Steel Corporation

  • 2:30pm
    Securing the Commodities of the Future

    How does Japan lock down supplies of the raw materials that will be needed as the world shifts to cleaner forms of energy? This panel will look at how Japanese policymakers, trading houses and large corporations are approaching this critical issue as the race to secure the commodities of the future speeds up.

    Richard Horrocks-Taylor, Global Head Metals & Mining, Standard Chartered
    Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:00pm
  • 3:30pm
    Commodities: A Senior Japanese Banker’s Perspective

    This session will be held under the Chatham House Rule

    Masahiko Oshima, Head of International Banking Unit, SMBC; Deputy President and Executive Officer, SMFG
    Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:40pm
    The Future Financing of Commodity Trading

    As the world’s biggest lenders start to factor environmental, social and governance risk into their commercial strategy the commodity trading industry is being forced to take stock. Banks are already starting to align their portfolios to reflect and finance the low-carbon economy, a shift that will have big repercussions for the sector. At the same time, big trade finance banks are also working toward ambitious sustainable development goals, which will force commodity traders to reassess the way they do business. A panel of leading bankers and executives will discuss what these changes mean for the industry.

    Moderator: Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor, Financial Times

    Nigel Scott, Managing Director, Global Head of Structured Trade & Commodity Finance Global Trade Finance Department, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited
    Tsuyoshi Ishide, Head of Resources, Energy and Infrastructure, Japan, ANZ
    Bin Wang, Chief Financial Officer, Asia, Mercuria

  • 4:10pm
    Oil Price Outlook: OPEC, IMO 2020 and the Geopolitical Premium

    The outlook for the global oil market is the most complex it has been in a very long time. Crude oil has become increasingly prone to wild swings, with the market whipsawed by questions over the state of supply and demand. Opec and its allies have been cutting output to help prop up prices, while US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have tightened supplies. In this panel, a group of experts will try to make sense of what is going on.

    Moderator: David Sheppard, Energy Editor, Financial Times

    Neil Atkinson, Head, Oil Industry and Markets Division (OIMD), Directorate of Energy Markets and Security, International Energy Agency
    Mitsuyasu Kawaguchi, General Manager, Cosmo Oil Co Ltd
    Jamie Webster, Senior Director, Center for Energy Impact, Boston Consulting Group

  • 4:45pm
    The Future of Trade

    As tensions between China and the US escalate we ask how global trade flows will change in the future, taking account of the rise of populist politics and the backlash against globalisation.

    Moderator: Robin Harding, Tokyo Bureau Chief, Financial Times

    Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
    Nobuo Tanaka, Chairman, Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Former Director General, IEA
    Gavin Thompson, Vice Chairman, Energy – Asia Pacific, Wood Mackenzie

  • 5:30pm
    Close of Summit

    Reception sponsored by SMBC

Who Attends

The FT Commodities 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 as well as many others from across the industry.


Why 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.
  • Analyse the latest supply and demand trends in the full range of commodities; from agriculture to energy to metals.

Presented By (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Gold Sponsor (2)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) a top-tier Japanese bank and core member of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, a Tokyo based bank holding company ranked amongst the largest 25 banks globally by assets under management.

SMBC Group has deep expertise on delivering and executing trade finance deals across the world through its global network. With a specialization in bespoke finance structures, the bank’s experienced professionals help its customers to achieve their liquidity needs, mitigate risk, and meet their financial goals. SMBC Group is continuously creating new and innovative ways to serve its customers. For more information, visit the SMBC website.

At Spencer Stuart, we know how much leadership matters. We are trusted by organizations around the world to help them make the senior-level leadership decisions that have a lasting impact on their enterprises. Through our executive search, board and leadership advisory services, we help build and enhance high-performing teams for select clients ranging from major multinationals to emerging companies to nonprofit institutions.

Privately held since 1956, we focus on delivering knowledge, insight and results through the collaborative efforts of a team of experts — now spanning 57 offices, 30 countries and more than 50 practice specialties. Boards and leaders consistently turn to Spencer Stuart to help address their evolving leadership needs in areas such as senior-level executive search, board recruitment, board effectiveness, succession planning, in-depth senior management assessment and many other facets of organizational effectiveness.

Associate Sponsor (1)

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is a leading diversified natural resources group with fully integrated mining, processing, energy, logistics and marketing operations.

Active in 15 countries across four continents, the Luxembourg-headquartered company employs more than 85,000 people. ERG is a global leader in ferrochrome production by chrome content and a major supplier of alumina and aluminium, iron ore and coal. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, ERG represents one third of the metals and mining industry and provides electric power distribution and logistics services.

With assets in Africa, ERG is also a major cobalt and copper producer. ERG’s project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Metalkol Roan Tailings Reclamation (Metalkol RTR), is a cutting-edge reprocessing facility to decontaminate old copper and cobalt tailings from previous mining operations in the country. At full capacity, Metalkol RTR will produce up to 24,000 t/y of cobalt, enough to build more than three million electric vehicles per annum and making ERG well positioned to become one of the largest suppliers of cobalt to China.

Chambishi Metals, ERG’s smelter in the Republic of Zambia, is one of the biggest standalone cobalt metal producers in the world and the only operation that produces both cobalt and copper cathodes registered on the London Metal Exchange.

ERG is committed to the sustainable production of cobalt and is a founding member and partner of the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum initiative aimed at achieving a responsible supply chain for the battery sector. Committed to helping local communities to take children out of artisanal mining, ERG supports the education of more than 11,000 children and provides alternative livelihoods in the DRC.

Strategic Media Partner (1)

Nikkei is a trusted media brand in Asia, known for its quality journalism and capability in providing business news and information. Founded as a market news media in Japan in 1876, Nikkei has grown to be one of the largest media conglomerates with 37 foreign editorial bureaus and approximately 1500 journalists worldwide, with another global media brand, the Financial Times, joining in our group in 2015. Nikkei are continually deploying new technology to find new ways to deliver news as a reliable source of information for the global community.


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