By Saijel Kishan March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Glencore International AG paid its top 65 employees an average of $10.4 million last year as the world's biggest commodity-trading company benefited from record prices for oil, wheat and coal. The closely held company paid $674 million in salaries and other benefits to 65 ``key'' people including departmental heads, according to an earnings report obtained by Bloomberg yesterday. An average of about $8.7 million was paid to each of Glencore's top 67 employees in 2006. Marc Ocskay, a spokesman at the Baar, Switzerland-based company, declined to comment. Glencore, led by Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg, 51, is owned by its employees and operates a profit-sharing program, which is paid to employees after they leave the company. The plan was valued at $15.7 billion at the end of last year, up from $10.9 billion in 2006, according to the report. The company said profit last year jumped 15 percent to $6.1 billion. ``They are specialists in commodities, reaping the fruits from the boom,'' said Jason Kennedy, chief executive officer of London-based recruiting firm Kennedy Associates. ``Add the money from the profit-sharing scheme and these guys are beating what the investment banks are paying.'' Payments by the company into a profit-sharing plan rose 8.9 percent to $3.5 billion last year, according to the report. About 450 employees own Glencore. The firm's top 12 managers own 31 percent, according to an August 2006 bond prospectus. The company employs more than 2,000 people globally in its marketing business, while more than 50,000 people work for its industrial units, according to its Web site. Investment banks are paying their top commodity traders between $3.5 million and $5 million, while ``exceptional'' traders are earning more than $10 million, Kennedy said. Glencore, an abbreviation of the words global, energy, commodity, resources, was founded in 1974 by financier and former fugitive Marc Rich, who sold the company to management 20 years later.