Commodities OTC Sales Trader career prospects

I have a question, what are your thoughts on a career in Commodities OTC Sales? I have an offer (mid-level) from a solid broker in the space, mostly to do with commodities so my potential counterparties would be corporates or trade houses looking to hedge commos or fx exposure I would guess.

Any idea whether the comp is decent (never mind the location) and if there are decent career development and/or exit opportunities?

Personally I think there is a lot of room for the OTC segment to grow especially in emerging markets (e.g. a simple structure could be an accumulator, cap & floor etc.) but of course you have to keep building your book, sign ISDAs etc. The overall style seems to be "eat what you kill" that's for sure. 



Hey there! Based on the most helpful WSO content, a career in Commodities OTC Sales can be quite rewarding, especially if you're naturally driven and enjoy the thrill of making deals. As a trader, you'll be working on basis trades, freight spreads, futures spreads, grade discounts, and more. It's all about working a deal and convincing the person on the other end of the phone that they want to make the deal.

In terms of compensation, it can vary widely depending on the firm, your experience, and the market conditions. However, it's worth noting that trust is a huge factor in this industry. If people don't trust you, they won't trade with you. So, building strong relationships with your clients is key to long-term success.

As for career development and exit opportunities, they can be quite diverse. You could potentially move into a more senior trading role, transition into a different area of finance, or even start your own trading firm.

The "eat what you kill" mentality is definitely prevalent in this industry, so if you're someone who thrives in a competitive, high-pressure environment, this could be a great fit for you.

Remember, this is a high-risk, high-reward industry. It's not for everyone, but for those who succeed, it can be incredibly lucrative. Good luck!

Sources: Q&A: I'm an Agricultural Commodities Trader, Career in Trading, Physical Commodity Trading career: If you started over again., Commodity Sales at BB - Culture, Hours, Career Prospects/Growth?

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
Most Helpful

yeah, this is a Marex/StoneX sort of gig, right? that’s completely an eat what you kill environment where the very few make the most amount of money. it’s a knife fight, salary is commission based and you need to generate a book of clients without much added value.

unless you have the relationships, broker gigs are risky. if they don’t see you making money soon, you’re out.

also in terms of exits, brokers are the bottom of the chain in front office roles for commods. BB traders or physical traders are substantially better positions.

just my 2c


to add on top of the above, sales traders in brokerage companies aren’t really sales traders. they are just salespeople.

not to say that a broker can’t make serious cash. if you have a solid network and are selling the right products, the sky is the limit


Praesentium eaque quidem ut animi voluptates dolore rem. Illum labore consequatur dolorum. Dolor quod nulla sit ipsum ut. Pariatur quod ipsa aut dignissimos quia. Ducimus omnis culpa at voluptate autem.

Career Advancement Opportunities

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres (++) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • William Blair 12 98.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners 02 97.9%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair 04 99.6%
  • Lincoln International 10 99.1%
  • Moelis & Company 25 98.7%
  • Stephens Inc 11 98.3%
  • Jefferies & Company 09 97.8%

Professional Growth Opportunities

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres 17 99.1%
  • Financial Technology Partners 07 98.7%
  • Jefferies & Company 03 98.3%
  • UBS AG 16 97.8%

Total Avg Compensation

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (34) $390
  • Associates (169) $258
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $187
  • 2nd Year Analyst (106) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (49) $167
  • 1st Year Analyst (322) $166
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (236) $95
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”