Jessica is the CEO of the VM Group (formerly Virtual Metals), the successor company to Crosswords Research and Consulting, which she formed in 1994 to provide gold research to the international metal and mining industry. In 1997, she added the virtual-gold.com website on the Internet, offering a full 24-hour gold consultancy service including data bases covering historical and forward looking data series, library, regular market commentary, guest forum and daily news clipping...more >>
Immediately prior to joining Virtual Metals, Gary managed the World Gold Council's public relations, communications, publications, and research programmes. During that time he launched and edited four issues of a new quarterly magazine called Gold, which had a circulation of 15,000... more >>
Mike Cassell joined as a consultant in September 2006 and is focusing on the energy markets. Mike entered journalism in 1964, working for weekly newspapers in the Midlands. He joined the Birmingham Post industrial staff in 1967 and in 1969 left to become a City reporter for the Daily Express in London. He joined the Financial Times in 1971, where he stayed until 2000. During his time at the FT he held a number of posts, including industrial correspondent, business correspondent, property editor, chief political correspondent and Editor of the Observer Diary column.
Clare Hayter joined Virtual Metals in April 2006 as Office Manager. Before settling in London, Clare ran her own company in Zimbabwe. She will co-ordinate the activities of the VM Group as well as assisting with MineLife-International Resources Foundation, the Company's sustainability Initiative.
Gwyn Fourie, based in Johannesburg has been a part of the VM team since its inception in 2001. Gwyn co-ordinates the production of the VM Groupís publications and offers editorial support in all instances.
Paul Hannon focuses on World Agronomy, having already covered the North American energy markets and the rapidly emerging renewable energy sector for the VM Group. Paul worked first on Petroleum Times as a reporter, and then joined the Financial Times where he spent 14 years editing and writing about stock markets and international company news for the international edition.
Before joining the VM Group as a geopolitical analyst in May 2007, Laila worked in the office of the Secretary General at the United Nations as a Policy Analyst and a Political Officer from 2000-2006. Prior to that she worked at UNESCO, UNICEF and various NGO s focusing on conflict resolution in Africa. Laila holds a BA in English Literature from Manchester University, and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Justine joined Virtual Metals in November 2007 to cover the agricultural commodity and energy sectors. Justine holds a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosh, M.A. in Global History from the University of Leipzig, and Msc. in Global Economic History from the London School of Economics. Her prior research has focused on emerging energy producers in Africa, Sino-African relations and the global historical development of long distance trade.
Marina joined Virtual Metals in December 2007 to cover the precious and base metals commodity sectors. Marina holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Economics from Keele University. Prior to joining VM Group she has worked for Dow Jones and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Carl Firman joined VM Group as a Metals Analyst. Carl, who holds a degree in Geology from the University of London, has worked as a petroleum geologist and later as a geotechnical engineer in the Far East. He also has experience in the Information Technology sector having spent several years at IBM during the dot.com boom era. Carl joined Mining Journal in 2002 and later became editor for the Production and Markets section of the weekly newspaper. In 2007, he launched the mining focused and highly successful Global Capital magazine at Pro Publications.
Before joining VM Group as a commodities analyst in January 2011, Sierra worked in energy research at Datamonitor Plc, covering global natural gas, power and petroleum markets. Prior to that, he worked as a precious metals analyst and economist for GFMS Ltd. Sierra holds a Bachelorís Degree in International Business & Economics from the Cracow University of Economics and an MSc in International Finance from Westminster Business School.
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