Privately-owned Stemcor says it is “the world’s largest independent steel trader”, playing “a pivotal role in the steel industry, acting as a trading intermediary and value-adding service provider. Our end-to-end services span every step in the steel supply chain and comprise five core competencies: finance, raw materials, steel trading, distribution and stockholding”.
Claiming to be neither “owned by, nor [to] own, any steel producers”, the majority of Stemcor’s shares is held by the European Oppenheimer family; not directly related to the South African Oppenheimers – founders of Anglo American-De Beers (See: E Oppenheimer & Son ).
Stemcor’s executive chairman is Ralph Oppenheimer, while his sister, Margaret Hodge, is the Labour Party MP for the Southern England parliamentary constituency of Barking. In November 2012, Ms Hodge sat as chair of the British government’s Public Accounts Committee, tasked with exposing tax avoidance by UK companies. She was asked to explain how – as a major shareholder in Stemcor herself – she justified her family company paying only £163,000 in 2011, on revenues of 2.1 billion.