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ABN Amro Hires Former RBS Bankers for Commodities Advisory Unit

ABN Amro Group NV hired investment bankers Jeroen Westrik and Gregory Vandeler to expand its advisory unit for energy, commodity and transportation clients.

Westrik takes on a newly created role as head of ECT sector origination, while Vandeler will be sector originator, ABN Amro said today in an e-mailed statement. Both will work out of Amsterdam, where the bank is based.

“We can add significant value for ECT clients by further strengthening our dedicated advisory services,” said Maarten Terlouw, global head of ABN Amro’s ECT unit. Westrik was previously the head of energy and resources for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s corporate advisory team. Vandeler was a corporate advisory vice president in RBS’s industrials group.

ABN Amro is expanding in commodities as other banks scale bank their ECT operations after the global economic slowdown cut demand and prices for raw materials. European and U.S. banks including Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are reducing or exiting their commodity businesses amid slumping revenue and increased regulatory scrutiny.

Commodities revenue at the 10 largest banks dropped 18 percent last year to $4.5 billion because of a “depressed client environment” and low volatility, London-based analytics company Coalition said in February.

In September, ABN Amro hired Jan Maarten Mulder, the former head of corporate finance and treasury at Amsterdam-based Trafigura Beheer BV, as global head of commodities. It subsequently advised Dutch grain trader Nidera BV on the sale of a 51 percent stake to Cofco Corp., China’s largest food company.

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