Morgan Stanley’s Richardson Quits to Start Commodity Consultants

Morgan Stanley’s chief metals economist Peter Richardson has left the bank after almost five years in the role to start his own research and advisory group.

Metallum Commodity Consulting Ltd. will advise investors in North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa on trends in metals and bulk commodity markets.

“The collective memory of the financial industry, particularly in relation to commodity cycles, appears to me to be shrinking if not disappearing altogether,” Richardson, 66, said today by phone. “There’s a strong role to be had for people with experience who are in a position to provide that guidance based on a much longer timeframe than many in the investment banking industry are aware of.”

Commodity prices rose almost fourfold in the decade through 2011 on Chinese demand. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials posted the first drop since 2008 last year as bear markets extended from corn to gold to copper. Citigroup Inc. says the so-called super-cycle of rising demand has ended and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said last month a reversing cycle will eventually drive raw materials into a structural bear market.

Richardson, a three-decade veteran of working with the commodity and mining industry, has held roles at Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG and Macquarie Group Ltd. Based in Melbourne, he left Morgan Stanley at the end of last month. Larissa Haida, a spokeswoman for the bank in London, declined to comment.

“It will essentially be a bespoke service for a very limited number of clients who want in-depth advice on investment activity both in equities and in underlying commodities,” he said. “I will be offering similar services for corporates on a bespoke basis for a limited number of commodities in which I think I have a particular depth of expertise.”

Last year Richardson was voted Research Analyst of the Year by the Australian Stockbroking Foundation and Best Commodities Analyst for Australia in the East Coles Equities Awards.

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