* Loth previously ran Noble’s warehousing operation
* Hire comes after more than a dozen appointments in grains, energy
By Josephine Mason
LONDON Aug 5 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Grupo BTG Pactual SA has hired Shon Loth, a metals warehousing expert, an official said on Monday, as Latin America’s largest independent investment bank continues to build its physical commodity trading business.
Loth, who previously ran Noble Group Ltd’s warehouse company Worldwide Warehouse Solutions (WWS), started at the bank’s London office on Monday, the official said. His job title is not known.
Loth’s appointment is the strongest sign yet that the bank’s ambitions to expand into physical commodity trading include metals and warehousing.
His arrival follows more than a dozen other hires by the privately owned bank in everything from energy to grains since former Noble chief executive Ricardo Leiman joined to pursue a $300 million-plus expansion plan to create a physical commodity operation.
Logistics and warehousing, major problems for soy, coffee and sugar producers in Brazil, are an area of interest, industry sources have told Reuters previously.
A spokesman for the bank did not return call for further comment.
The bank is expanding at the same time as U.S. rivals retreat as regulatory and political scrutiny of Wall Street banks’ ownership of physical commodity assets increases.
Bankers and industry sources have said BTG may be interested in some of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s physical commodity assets, which were put up for sale last month.
Those operations include Henry Bath, a metals warehousing operation, as well as power plants and oil and gas storage.
Loth joined Noble, a Hong Kong-based commodity merchant, to run its warehousing business in March 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. He left in May, according to the UK business register.
Noble bought WWS, a small U.S. warehousing company, in 2010 which it has since expanded to 13 LME warehouses, including in Singapore and the Netherlands.
JPM’s Henry Bath warehouse company has 72 facilities from Baltimore to Johor, Malaysia.