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MSCI move to copper, brass logical: Weidner

Keywords: Tags  copper, brass, Metals Service Center Institute, MSCI, Robert Weidner, National Association of Aluminum Distributors, NAAD, Copper and Brass Servicenter Association CBSA

NEW YORK — The Metals Service Center Institute’s (MSCI’s) copper and brass segment might only be two years old, but the move to start it was a natural one, according to the association’s top executive.

"This segment is not a new start-up, it’s a logical product extension for the MSCI," president and chief executive officer Robert Weidner told AMM. "The world is changing, and I don’t know what the industry is going to look like in a few years. Consolidation is going to be one of the big driving forces in the global economy, and the industry needs to recognize that."

The MSCI’s merger with the National Association of Aluminum Distributors (NAAD) in 2002 has worked out well for both organizations, Weidner noted.

"Mike Petersen, president of Petersen Aluminum (Corp.), which is an independent family owned business, was the then-leader of NAAD. He sat down with us in February 2002, and by October the two organizations had merged," he said. "We assured him then that we would do everything to preserve (the organization’s) very rich heritage while also thriving and taking it to a new level."

The merger with NAAD affirmed MSCI’s product division structure, proving that while the identity of the metal was preserved the organization also allowed its members to leverage their advantage across product categories, Weidner said.

"Every former NAAD member would say that the merger has worked," he said.

However, a similar push to merge the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association (CBSA) with the MSCI failed four years ago, CBSA president Richard Farmer said.

"The CBSA board at the time decided that a merger was not in the best interest of the association and its members," he said, adding that the organization continues to feel the same way.

"Our membership has grown over the last couple of years and we have a few more prospective members we’re hoping to bring in over the next few months. Our association is going strong and we’re financially stable while also providing what the members want in terms of value," he said.

Weidner believes that the segment represents a large part of the red metals service center business.

"The driving force behind the segment was Richard Greaves, president and (chief operating officer) at Thyssenkrupp Materials NA (Inc.)," he said. "Richard believed that if you looked at the MSCI’s membership at the time—we had Reliance (Steel & Aluminum Co.), Thyssenkrupp, Ryerson (Inc.), Central Steel & Wire (Co.) and A.J. Oster (Group)—and approximately two-thirds to 70 percent of copper and brass was going through MSCI members."

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