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Crop Giant Bunge Reorganizes Trading in Latest Restructure

Isis Almeida

(Bloomberg) -- Bunge Ltd. has reorganized its trading business as one of the world’s top agricultural commodity merchants presses ahead with its restructuring plan, according to people familiar with the matter.

After cutting jobs in Geneva and offering only about a third its staff in White Plains, New York, relocation to its new headquarters in St. Louis, Bunge has divided its trading business by product instead of region, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company named new heads of corn and wheat and divided responsibilities for the oilseeds business into three groups.

Bunge, the ‘B’ in the storied quartet of crop giants collectively known as ABCDs, is responding to shareholder pressure as years of bumper crops curbed margins and reduced the volatility traders need to thrive. Chief Executive Officer Greg Heckman said earlier this year that the company needed to shrink and that he expected most of the restructuring to be completed by mid-2020.

Bunge appointed Nicolas Evrad as the new head head of corn, and Alejandro Boquete is leading wheat trading, the people said. Rossano De Angelis is now managing the oilseeds-crushing business in South America and Diego Rasteletti in North America. Diego Fernandes is overseeing the business at destination, or importing countries including China and Europe, the people said.

Bunge declined to comment.

Heckman has said he would work to centralize Bunge’s activities, shifting away from its regional structure in order to simplify the company and speed up decision making. Since taking the top job earlier this year, he has already replaced the company’s chief financial officer and brought in a chief risk officer. Last week, Bunge appointed a new chief legal officer, completing the CEO’s strategy for the senior management team.

Bunge shares added 0.4% to $55.42 at 9:40 a.m. in New York, snapping three days of losses.

(Adds shares in last paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in Chicago at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

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