Aristotelis Mistakidis is one of the world’s most powerful commodity traders. For nearly 20 years, the brash, hyperactive Greek known to everyone simply as “Telis” has ruled over the global copper market, buying and selling enough of the red metal to supply every factory in the U.S. twice over.
Today, the man who built Glencore’s reputation in copper is facing tough questions about how he did it. Mistakidis, who until recently ran both copper trading and mining, is under intense pressure after a string of investigations, problems and legal headaches.
The U.S. Department of Justice is probing Glencore’s dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. Canadian regulators are also investigating accounting irregularities at copper mines where Mistakidis was a director.
A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment for this story. In July, the company said it’s cooperating with the DOJ investigation and “takes ethics and compliance seriously.”
As metals traders, bankers and miners gather in London for the annual LME Week jamboree, the future of Mistakidis—and Glencore’s copper business—is the talk of the industry.
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