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Category: Insights

The Centrality of Talent

In 2023 commodities organisations turned to talent to help navigate an uncertain world. Here, HC Group’s Managing Partner and the host of the HC Insider Podcast, Paul Chapman, reflects on the importance of people.

The world remains volatile. A quick scan of the word cloud created from the transcripts of our 2023 HC Insider Podcasts provides a stark banner for the complexity and uncertainty the commodities markets operate within.

Consequently, few predictions made at the start of last year have materialized. Energy prices have lowered, renewables have stuttered, and a recession remains only forecasted.

One of the most significant additions to 2023 were high interest rates, profoundly changing the economic environment for trading and investment – an environment in which few commodity professionals have operated.

Access the 2023 Annual Review

HC Group’s Annual Review reflects on the year at the HC Insider Podcast, as well as significant People Moves in global commodities. 

Click here to unlock the full review. 

Deglobalization continues to unfurl its destruction on efficient markets. 2023 has seen export controls and bans on semiconductors, critical minerals and foodstuffs, while sanctions continue stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Talent reveals itself at the center of our word cloud, created using the transcripts taken from each podcast episode published in 2023.

Investing in People 

To tackle all these moving parts, companies across the commodity supply chains continue to develop trading and marketing arms. The goal is now far more existential than adding revenue. In more volatile times (driven by economics, technology, policy and geo-competition), companies need to better manage risk, build resiliency and optionality in their supply chains and markets and get closer to customers navigating the same risks. 

All this requires talent. It is no wonder then that that word sits at the heart of the word cloud and the sector. Talent and experience. It is perhaps the latter that has been discounted in the last decade. However, in a time when the environment mirrors the period before the Great Recession in economics - and further back in terms of politics - experience is crucial. 

2023 saw many veterans called back to the sector. I suspect this is one prediction that will survive 2024. 

Access the 2023 Annual Review

HC Group’s Annual Review explores the evolution of expert networks in energy and resources, as well as the latest talent trends and People Moves. 

Click here to unlock the full review.