– Kristian Schmidt, former Senior Executive at ISCOR, the South African steel giant, has been appointed the director responsible for overseas exports at Central European Waste Management.
The CE Waste Management Chairman, Frederick Von Strasser, announced the appointment today at the company’s biweekly board meeting. Sources at the company report that the engagement of the outsider Schmidt represents a win for Von Strasser as other board members preferred to fill the position from within the company.
Schmidt, who reportedly rejected offers late last year from Rio Tinto and Anglo American, will be leaving his native South Africa by the end of the month to become director of the company’s International Department at the recycling conglomerate’s headquarters in Wels, Austria. His salary and contract terms remained undisclosed.
“We are excited to have a man of his caliber join our staff,” said Von Strasser, adding, “we see this as another step forward in our plans for market expansion.”
Indeed, market insiders report that Schmidt brings with him an intricate knowledge of the steel recycling industry and associated products. Further, “Dr. Schmidt has decades of experience in trading in Africa and Asia and a cutting edge knowledge of the players and marketplace in both continents,” said Von Strasser.
The appointment of Schmidt to head the International Department of CE Waste Management falls in line with the company’s announcement earlier this month that it will focus more on exports to Asia, where prices and demand for recycled metals and plastics have remained relatively stable in spite of the economic slowdown experienced in Europe and North America. Further, the company has reportedly negotiated reduced rates with Asian sea-freight cargo carriers to facilitate the anticipated expansion.
According to his resume, Dr. Kristian A. Schmidt was born in apartheid South Africa and attended Wits University in Johannesburg. He completed his articles as an auditor for Arthur Anderson before being offered a position at De Beers. He later joined Kolwezi Copper as a trainee trader, and as reported by the South African newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, Schmidt established a reputation as an aggressive and astute market trader.
Schmidt was engaged by ISCOR a few years later, prior to their acquisition by the Mittal group, and soon became the head of their foreign department. According to inside sources, during these years at ISCOR, Schmidt was able to circumvent the trade sanctions with Tanzania and Uganda with seeming impunity.
In the early 1990s, Schmidt moved to Hong Kong working as a financial adviser to several sovereign wealth funds before returning to South Africa in 2008.
According to industry professionals, his arrival at Central European Waste Management is an indication of the company’s immanent expansion into the African and Asian markets.