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British trader retires early after earning $100m in three years

Ed Emerson Goldman Sachs

Mr Emerson, 47, will leave the bank after becoming one of the highest-paid executives on Wall Street – Goldman Sachs

A British trader who ran oil and metals trading at Goldman Sachs is retiring after making an estimated $100m (£80m) in three years.

Ed Emerson, Goldman’s head of global commodities, will leave the bank next year after becoming one of the highest-paid executives on Wall Street.

Mr Emerson, who was born in Argentina but holds a British passport, has worked at Goldman Sachs since 1999 and has run the bank’s commodities division since 2018. In the role, he oversaw trading of assets such as oil and metals.

Under his watch, the department bounced back from its worst year in Goldman’s history as a public company to becoming one of the bank’s most profitable divisions.

Global volatility since the Covid crisis and spikes in energy prices since the outbreak of war in Ukraine created opportunities for traders to make large profits in commodity markets.

Mr Emerson has made sure the bank has been on the right side of trades, and the commodities division was the engine for Goldman’s profits last year, with revenues of around $3bn.

The division also had revenues of $2bn for the prior two years, helping Mr Emerson pocket an estimated $100m over the past three years in performance-linked bonuses.

David Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs

Mr Emerson is reported to have pocketed more than Goldman chief David Solomon last year – Alex Brandon/AP

The trading chief is reported to have earned more than chief executive David Solomon last year.

A private figure little known outside the bank, Mr Emerson, 47, last year bought a $16m house in Palm Beach, Florida, close to Goldman Sachs’ Florida offices.

He plays polo in his spare time and is known for his loyalty to his staff and fondness for practical jokes. While on holiday in Costa Rica, Mr Emerson once got up in the middle of the night to scatter fake snakes around a house he was renting with friends, according to Bloomberg.

After leaving Argentina, Mr Emerson graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in psychology. He then earned a masters in finance at the University of Reading.

Mr Emerson will retire from the bank in March but stay on as an advisory director, according to an internal memo seen by The Telegraph.

Goldman Sachs has promoted two oil trading executives, Xiao Qin and Nitin Jindal, to replace Mr Emerson.

The bank declined to comment.

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