LONDON, ENGLAND — Chicago, Illinois, U.S.-based R.J. O'Brien & Associates (RJO), independent futures brokerage and clearing firm, announced on April 14 that veteran institutional grains broker Richard Mayhew has joined its affiliate R.J. O'Brien (UK) Limited as senior vice-president, head of Grains & Oilseeds, Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA). Mayhew has more than 35 years of experience in grains in both the physical and futures markets. He will build a team focused on all aspects of futures related to grains and serve commercial clients throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

"This is a strategic hire for RJO UK, enabling us to build on RJO's unparalleled institutional grain business in North America with our first dedicated initiative in grains out of Europe,” David Mudie, chief executive officer of RJO UK, said. “Richard's stellar experience, breadth of knowledge in every facet of the grains business and fantastic reputation make him an ideal leader for this effort."

Mayhew's former colleague Hui Zhao is also part of the new RJO team, having just joined as vice-president, Commodity Broker.

"I have known R.J. O'Brien for my entire career and have only had a positive impression of the firm. I am thrilled to be part of this independent and highly respected company, with its strong focus on service, risk management and insights that benefit its clients,” Mayhew said. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to team up with the firm's seasoned professionals in Chicago and build out the global offering in the EMEA region, which has tremendous untapped potential. We intend to offer a complete service to our clients across everything related to grains and oilseeds, including freight, energy and foreign exchange components."

Mayhew served since 1999 as head of International Grain & Oilseed Futures Broking for ADM Investor Services International Limited and has spent his entire career in grains. Each summer, he visits the United States to conduct crop tours.

Born and raised in London, where his father was in the commercial grain business, Mayhew came to Chicago at the age of 21 to work on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. He spent 10 years in the United States, including on the commercial side as a physical trader of soybean barges and as an account executive with Prudential Bache in New Orleans.

Mayhew returned to London in 1990 as a Grain & Oilseed futures broker for Refco Overseas Ltd. In 1996, he took on that role for GNI Limited in London before joining ADM in 1999.