Shifting leadership in Fortis' Houston office

A shuffle of the top jobs in Fortis Bank’s Houston energy trading operations is in the works, with energy marketing and trading president Jim Fallon stepping down.

Sorry, no photo of Fortis’ local guys.

Fallon and David Jones, head of global oil for Fortis, were co-heads of the Houston office, which included the former trading business of Duke Energy that Fortis purchased last year. Fortis won’t say where Fallon, a former trader with Enron’s energy and broadband businesses, is going, just the official statement that he “is going to be focusing on the transition until the end of the year.”
Waldo Abbot, CEO of Fortis North America added in a statement:

“Jim was instrumental to the integration of the Cinergy Marketing & Trading business (the formal name of Duke’s trading business) over the past year, and we are all grateful to him for his vision and contributions.”

Fortis will create a new position, U.S. head of energy and commodities, which will oversee energy marketing and trading. Didier Giblet, current global head of energy and commodities at Fortis, has assumed the role of interim U.S. head and will be based in Houston until the new position has been filled.
Confused? Well, that’s corporate bureaucracy for you. But what hasn’t changed is the importance of Houston to Fortis, said Alan Bozian, head of global markets in the Americas for Fortis Bank, in an interview with the Chronicle today.
Fortis has added about 50 jobs this year to support the U.S. power and gas trading operations, he said, while the support team for Jones’ global oil group will be based here, too. Houston has traditionally been a hub for gas and power trading, so it’s good to see the local shops getting diversified with oil, too.

Merrill’s man in Houston: David Sobotka.

There’ve been plenty of job switches in Houston’s energy trading community in the last year, with shops poaching workers from each other on a weekly basis.
And David Sobotka, who had headed Merrill Lynch’s Houston-based commodities business since 2004, was promoted to head the company’s fixed-income, currencies and commodities earlier this month as part of the post-sub prime shakeup there.