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Bunge CEO Looks to Avoid 'Stroke-of-the-Pen' Risk

Gregory Heckman is trying to improve risk management at the 200-year-old company


A year removed from a losing bet that the U.S.-China trade war would be promptly resolved, global grains trader Bunge Ltd. is facing an even more uncertain business environment, with a new chief executive who is determined not to get burned again.

Gregory Heckman, who joined Bunge’s board late last year and took on the CEO role in January, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday improving risk management at the 200-year-old company is a key focus as he oversees a portfolio review that is expected to last through the middle of 2020.

Bunge’s surprise loss in last year’s second quarter, when bets on a quick trade war resolution turned sour, and another loss-triggering bet in the fourth quarter as trade tensions eased is something Heckman is determined to avoid.

“We want to avoid any surprises from stroke-of-the-pen risk,” Heckman told Reuters, referring to unforeseen risks such as abrupt government policy shifts or tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump

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