A physical energy trading house owned and operated by trading professionals

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Company Purpose

ELEMENT Alpha is a wholly subsidiary of ELEMENT Group SA, a privately owned company headquartered in Geneva. In 2015, Nino Mendiburu and Gregor von la Valette co-founded ELEMENT together with a team of other experienced traders. ELEMENT quickly developed from a local market trader in the Black Sea and Mediterranean to a globally recognized energy trader.

Today, ELEMENT Alpha is physically moving crude oil, refined oil products and dry-bulk energy commodities globally via sea-going vessel, barge, rail, truck and pipeline. ELEMENT is also a major shareholder in Origin International Inc., one of the world’s largest privately owned recyclers of waste hydrocarbons, operating throughout the US and Europe.

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Our People

ELEMENT is an energy trading company owned and managed by experienced traders. We value our employees and partners as our most precious assets.

Board of Directors

Gregor von la Valette

Having co-founded ELEMENT Group SA together with Nino Mendiburu in 2015 and co-running the company as CFO for two years, Gregor was named CEO of ELEMENT Alpha SA’s global trading business in October 2017. Gregor brings significant experience in both commodity trading and corporate finance. Prior to co-founding ELEMENT, he traded middle distillates and fuel oil at Maddox. He started his career at Morgan Stanley in London and New York in the Leveraged Finance group where he developed extensive skills in business analysis, financial and legal due diligence and credit syndication. Gregor holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Maastricht.

Christian Hanky

Christian Hanky has over 30 years of experience trading physical middle distillates. He joined ELEMENT Alpha in 2017 as an investor and middle distillates advisor before becoming a board member in 2020. Christian spent more than a decade at Gunvor SA where he built the firm’s middle distillates desk and was responsible for handling Gunvor’s Russian and European middle distillates trading. Prior to Gunvor, Christian held progressively senior trading positions within Marquard & Bahls Group (Mabanaft). Christian began his oil trading career in the 1980s at Marimpex in Germany.


Our constantly growing team in Geneva, Hamburg, Istanbul, Jakarta, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore consists of various seasoned trading professionals who actively trade physical crude oil, refined oil products, petrochemicals as well as dry-bulk energy goods such as petroleum coke. The traders are supported by a group of highly experienced finance, risk management, logistics and operations experts.

Our strong team offers our suppliers and clients the same logistics, financing and risk management services as bigger trading firms, while maintaining a lean cost structure with low overhead, enabling ELEMENT’s competitive edge.

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FAIRNESS was the main principle defining our strategy when we founded ELEMENT. At ELEMENT, we are fair to our counterparties, financing banks, employees and shareholders!

We believe in the long-term nature of our business and we value long-term relationships more than short-term profits, which we constantly prove to our counterparties, especially when solving problems in a friendly and constructive manner. This behavior resulted in ELEMENT’s impeccable reputation in the international market place. We take pride in our clean reputation and continue to build upon it in the global energy markets with every trade.

While it is crucial to fulfill our generation’s energy needs, we also have a responsibility to the future generations on our planet. Thus, we founded Origin International Inc., a sustainable recycling business for waste oils, that creates jobs in its local communities and protects our environment.

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