ITFA HOLDS ITS FIRST TRADE FINANCE DISTRIBUTION FORUM IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Hoor Yar – ITFA Middle East Regional Committee Member



ITFA Middle East Regional Committee, currently chaired by Semih Ozkan, Director, Corporate Trade Finance, Deutsche Bank, organized the first trade finance distribution forum in the region.

With the “originate to distribute” theme, the forum, attended by over 60 participants, broadly assessed trade distribution as a form of risk mitigation while provided an overview of regulatory requirements, the different tools including emerging Fintech solutions, international standards for risk participation and the role of the insurance sector as a natural bank partner.

The forum consisted of a key note speech by Mr Massimo Falcioni, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance, the UAE’s export credit agency, offering export credit insurance, export financing, trade credit insurance, and surety bonds, followed by two interactive panel discussions. The first panel, moderated by Mr. Andre Casterman, Chair of ITFA Fintech Committee and CMO at INTIX, focused on the underpinning of trade finance distribution, regulatory changes and implications, in the region. The second panel, moderated by Sebastien Avot, Regional Head of Distribution & Credit Solutions, Middle East & Africa, Deutsche Bank, discussed the trade finance landscape in the region while also highlighted advent of the distribution with the emerging technology solutions.

The panelists included a number of esteemed individuals from local and international financial institutions in the region; David Moleshead (Senior Counsellor, UK Export Finance), Harry Doyne-Ditmas (Structured Credit & Political Risk Leader, MENA, Marsh JLT Specialty), Ivica Stankovic (Partner, Financial Services Risk Management, EY), Rafiq Jaffer (Partner, Banking & Finance, AlTamimi & Company), Yacin El Ouadih (Head of Risk Underwriting, Etihad Credit Insurance), Adam Worral (Head of Trade Distribution, First Abu Dhabi Bank), Jean Claus (CEO, Euler Hermes Middle East) and Nazash Khan (Regional Head Trade Distribution & Syndication, Standard Chartered Bank).

The feedback from the participants was encouraging for the ITFA Middle East Regional Committee to return next year with the forum’s second edition.

Furthermore, the ITFA Middle East Regional Committee highlighted that “the forum was a great opportunity to discuss market developments and opportunities in trade finance distribution today” and further added “but more importantly, it helped the regional trade finance community collaborate and improve knowledge, governance and leadership.”

From left to right: Andre Casterman (Chair of ITFA Fintech Committee and CMO at INTIX) as well as ITFA Middle East Regional Committee: Naura Hussain (Financial Institutions, United Bank Limited); Semih Ozkan (Trade Finance Flow, Deutsche Bank); Bora Akyildiz (Head of Bonding, Euler Hermes); Ahmad Izhar (Trade Finance Sales, Standard Chartered Bank); Fatenah El Danab (Trade Finance Sales, Bank of America Merrill Lynch); Sinan Ozcan (Head of Maersk Trade Finance UAE)

And the ITFA Middle East Regional Committee not in the picture Hoor Yar (Trade Finance Flow, Deutsche Bank); Vikas Jha (Head of Trade Finance Product Management, Emirates NBD); Pankaj Mundra (Chairman ofNimai Consulting)

The key note speech by Massimo Falcioni (CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance)

The first panel from left to right: Andre Casterman (Chair of ITFA Fintech Committee and CMO at INTIX); Ivica Stankovic (Partner, Financial Services Risk Management, EY); Harry Doyne-Ditmas (Structured Credit & Political Risk Leader, MENA, Marsh JLT Specialty); Yacin El Ouadih (Head of Risk Underwriting, Etihad Credit Insurance); Rafiq Jaffer (Partner, Banking & Finance, AlTamimi& Company); David Moleshead (Senior Counsellor, UK Export Finance)

The second panel from left to right: Sebastien Avot (Regional Head of Distribution & Credit Solutions, Middle East & Africa, Deutsche Bank); Adam Worral (Head of Trade Distribution, First Abu Dhabi Bank); Nazash Khan (Regional Head Trade Distribution & Syndication, Standard Chartered Bank);Jean Claus (CEO, Euler Hermes Middle East); Andre Casterman (Chair of ITFA Fintech Committee and CMO at INTIX)