International Trade Finance Awards 2019

Following a year of geopolitical uncertainty, technological disruption and competition, the 2019 International Trade Finance Awards by Trade Finance Global recognise and award those who have succeeded and provided an outstanding contribution to international trade. Trade Finance Global Excellence Awards are totally independent and judged by an expert panel of trade specialists.

Funders

Best Financiers Category

Best Trade Financier

Commerzbank AG

Commerzbank is a leading international commercial bank with branches and offices in almost 50 countries. Commerzbank finances approximately 30% of Germany’s foreign trade and is the leading finance provider for corporate clients in Germany.

As part of its digitalisation strategy, Commerzbank has become involved with a number of initiatives looking to apply distributed ledger technology (DLT) to the trade finance space.

One such initiative is Marco Polo, which aims to enable end-to-end, real-time, seamless connectivity between trade participants in order to eliminate inefficiencies across the supply chain, to provide payment commitments and financing for mitigating risks and optimising working capital flows. And Commerzbank’s involvement in the project led to a successful proof of concept test, which has since allowed the Marco Polo group to begin its pilot phase in 2018.

What were your recent successes?

(a) Blockchain innovation

“In January 2018, Commerzbank supported R3 and TradeIX with the Marco Polo initiative, successfully carrying out the project’s first proof of concept, which allowed the group to kick off the pilot transactions. In April, with the Batavia initiative, the Bank facilitated the export of cars from Germany to Spain for its client, Audi. For another client, Commerzbank has used the platform to ease the export of textiles from Austria to Spain.

A further advancement came in May 2018 as part of Commerzbank’s relationship with R3. Together they conducted a proof of concept that integrated SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with the Corda blockchain platform. The process proved that it is possible for a client to access relevant data from its own ERP system and move it directly in or out of a blockchain network or application. This removes the need for a separate user interface, which would typically involve manually inputting information – saving not only time but resources too. This arguably marked a crucial step towards the implementation of blockchain solutions in the trade finance space.”

(b) Trade automation

“In partnership with fintech, Conpend, Commerzbank has set about automating its trade finance transaction processing. Starting with the automation of some anti-money laundering checks in October 2018, Commerzbank aims to have automated 80% of compliance pre-checks by 2020. And the benefits of automation are evident. Currently the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) allows for a five-business day turnaround for trade finance transactions. But Commerzbank believes this process could eventually be completed in seconds when pre-checks are automated. This would save time and money for both the bank and for its clients, while still meeting, in full, its regulatory commitments.”

Enno-Burghard Weitzel, Managing Director / Global Head of Product Management Trade, Commerzbank AG

“Naturally, we are very honoured to be awarded for our ongoing efforts to hasten a new era for trade finance. This award not only recognises our team’s hard work to drive forward transformative digitalisation initiatives; it also reflects our strong expertise in mitigating global risk on behalf of behalf of our clients, optimising supply chains and serving our customer’s trade needs as they evolve.”

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Best Receivables Financier

Stenn International

Stenn International Ltd. unlocks working capital for all companies in global supply chains.

Given Stenn International’s innovative products, from trade to receivables finance, as well as their non-bank status, Stenn is able to finance in sectors and geographic regions currently under-served in global trade.

Having extended its capital program for trade finance by $500m in 2018, we’re confident of Stenn’s ability to finance receivables in light of Basel III restrictions on trade finance, the regulatory landscape, and geopolitical challenges between emerging and developed economies.

What were your recent successes?

In 2018 alone, we quadrupled in size. This achievement is twofold:  

As we consistently brainstorm innovative ways to fund the $1.5 trillion gap of global trade, we realized we needed extensive expertise. So in 2018, we hired top notch talent to our company. I am incredibly proud of our team: they are my daily happiness. These people are full of experience and fresh ideas of how we can help the global supply chain. We’ve welcomed many experts in our field this past year.

I’m also proud of the expansion of our geographic footprint. By the end of 2018, our portfolio of countries that we work with reached 70 countries. I’m proud that we can allow suppliers and buyers in even more countries to access our solutions. Moving forward, we aim to work with 120 countries, which is 60% of all countries and 90% of the global GDP.

Kerstin C. Braun, President, Stenn International

I am honoured that Stenn was nominated and accepted as the Best Receivables Financier. It puts in perspective that our hard work has truly impacted the global trade community – that we’re making a difference for international companies. Our core goal is to fuel international trade and finance the potential of every company, so I’m happy to see this mission follow through. I appreciate this recognition and feel even more passionate and motivated to bring innovative solutions to more and more beneficiaries.”

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Best Invoice Financier

Bibby Financial Services


Bibby Financial Services helps ambitious SMEs to grow and thrive.

Following a year of macroeconomic uncertainty, we saw Bibby continue to invest in people, processes, infrastructure and CSR. BFS continues to strive for excellent customer service, flexible finance and a personal approach. With relationships at the heart of Bibby, both internally and externally, it’s clear that the turnaround since 2017 has had a positive impact in the last year.

What were your recent successes?

“- To offer additional support to those trading overseas amid the backdrop of Brexit, we extended our Trade Finance proposition to include Invoice Discounting for commercial businesses with turnover of up to £5m.

– In addition, we expanded the product to include prepayments which allows importers to pay overseas suppliers in advance of goods being manufactured and shipped. This move came after we saw a 22% uplift in demand for Trade Finance since the end of 2017.

– In 2018, we saw further integration between our Trade Finance, Export Finance and Foreign Exchange products, enabling us to enhance our support for businesses trading internationally, irrespective of whether they need support with cashflow, working capital, international credit control or managing the impact of currency fluctuations.”

Edward Winterton, UK CEO, Bibby Financial Services

“Amid the backdrop of Brexit, international trade remains an incredible important consideration for UK SMEs in order to unlock new growth opportunities and find supply chain efficiencies. Through our Trade and Export Finance expertise, coupled with our integrated FX solutions, we’re now in a fantastic position to support even more businesses trading overseas, whether they require support with trade finance, working capital or foreign exchange services.”

Paul Fraser, Sales Director – Specialist Products, Bibby Financial Services

“We’re absolutely delighted to be awarded as Best Invoice Financier Award at the International Trade Finance Awards. As a global business supporting more than 10,000 businesses worldwide, this award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our teams across the world, and our expertise in supporting SMEs trading internationally.”

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Best Alternative Financier

GapCap

GapCap provides cashflow solutions to growing UK businesses

As a key player for highgrowth SMEs, 2018 was a great year for GapCap, helping finance £250m of invoice finance. We’ve seen GapCap address the customer needs for accessing finance to improve working capital and cashflow, and we have hopes that this will continue into 2019, particularly after the takeover of Invocap’s invoice finance book, a strategic move by Alex Fenton. At Trade Finance Global, we see the importance and necessity of partners, consolidation and leverage, and the bold moves of GapCap stand the company in great stead for a successful 2019

What were your recent successes?

“Per-staff member revenue rose by over 100% in the year, more than doubling our operational efficiency.

We launched 2 new products. Adding Flexible Invoice Discounting, a disruptive alternative to traditional Confidential Invoice Discounting and Supplier Finance, a simpler, digitalised alternative to your traditional and typical trade finance solutions. This turned us into a much more attractive proposition for those looking for end-to-end cashflow support.”

Alex Fenton, Founder & CEO, GapCap

“It is a great honour to be awarded the Best Alternative Financier award. It is a badge of honour for our whole team, who have worked tirelessly to deliver the best service and product for our clients. In such a busy and noisy market as alternative finance, to be recognised as best in class is a real accolade and it is reassuring to know that all the hard work that we put in, is delivering a top class service that helps businesses to grow.”

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Best Export Credit Agency

UK Export Finance

UKEF provides finance and insurance to help UK businesses sell overseas.

2018 was a remarkable year for UK Export Finance, amidst tough times on the geopolitical front. To assist its mission to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector, it increased its direct lending capacity by £2bn, increased its local currency financing offer to over 60 currencies and doubled its appetite in over 100 markets. It also hosted the first Trade & Export Finance Forum, showing its leadership in the sector. Playing a pivotal role in the UK Government’s new Export Strategy, we see UKEF, the world’s first export credit agency, continuing to grow, innovate and support UK exports in 2019 and beyond.

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade

“I am absolutely delighted that UK Export Finance has been named export credit agency of the year by Trade Finance Global – a fantastic start to its centenary year.

“Since 1919, UKEF has been helping British exporters achieve international success, and this award shows that it continues to be a game-changer for UK businesses. That’s why we’ve put its support is at the heart of the UK Government’s Export Strategy as we work to increase exports to 35% of GDP.”

Louis Taylor, CEO, UK Export Finance (UKEF)

“UK Export Finance (UKEF) marks its centenary in 2019, and I am delighted that we have been named ‘best export credit agency’ by Trade Finance Global. This award recognises the innovation, success and ambition of the UK’s export credit agency as we continue to deliver on our mission – to ensure no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance.”

What were your recent successes?

2018 was another remarkable year for UK Export Finance, with plenty of landmark achievements – which is only fitting, really, as 2019 is the department’s 100th birthday. What better way to conclude our first century than with a year of highs?

In September, UKEF supported the largest deal in its history, a £5bn financial package for contracts worth over £5.5bn for the sale of 24 Typhoon and 9 Hawk aircraft by UK defence companies BAE Systems and MBDA to Qatar. UKEF’s support was vital to ensuring the success of this multi-billion-pound and hugely complex deal, which will sustain thousands of jobs in one of the UK’s key industrial sectors and generate economic growth in the UK.

We have significantly diversified our aviation business in 2018, supporting the sale of Rolls-Royce-powered Boeing aircraft, including to El Al Airlines in August – the first time we’ve worked with the airline. We also financed the sale of nine Airbus A220-300 (formerly Bombardier C Series) to Korean Airlines, supporting Northern Ireland’s economy, and continued to support a programme for US cargo carrier Atlas Air to service GENx engines at GE Caledonian’s site.

As the UK’s export credit agency, the business we support is a reflection of the market-leading capabilities of British businesses. Some of the transactions I’m most proud of demonstrate the positive impact these companies are having on communities around the world – with UKEF support.  In November we announced €450 million in support, including direct lending, for UK firms to build three new hospitals and upgrade two electrical substations in Angola.

This is the first time we have supported projects in Angola, which until 2002 was in civil war. The development of vital power provision and healthcare will have a transformative effect on the lives of Angolans, as the country develops its infrastructure and economy. Similarly, in Iraq, UKEF has also played a key role supporting the redevelopment of infrastructure, financing four power projects by GE, Enka and Siemens, which will ensure the supply of reliable electricity for people across the country. 

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Best Islamic Financier

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is the 2nd largest Islamic bank in the UAE providing full-fledged banking services

With the Shariah and Islamic finance sector continuing to show strong year on year growth, and trade finance being a main area of focus, we commend ADIB’s work in this space.

As leaders in project and infrastructure finance, as well as the considerable expansion into other markets outside of GCC, the bank has played a significant role in landmark transactions over the last year, providing Islamic finance solutions to a wide range of trading companies.

As the appetite for Islamic finance grows within and outside of the GCC, we believe that ADIB will have an increasing prominence and capability of facilitating trade and structuring finance globally in 2019.

What were your recent successes?

“2018 was the year of digital transformation of cash and trade business for Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. We launched new platforms within the bank allowing for greater transparency, automation and more efficiency in order to offer a complete suite of trade products and best possible service to our clients

We also launched a number of ground-breaking Sharia compliant trade financing products, and successfully provided such products to our clients. We issued our first Usance Payable At Sight LC, where we paid at sight to the sellers of our steel wholesaler client against a deferred payment LC, hence allowing them to extend the credit period to their buyers without direct effect on their financial strength. We also funded local banks’ trade portfolio through our newly launched FI trade financing product as well as financed export LCs post acceptance for many clients including one of the main copper exporters in the UAE. All of these financing solutions are compliant with Shari’a principles enabling ADIB to support the trade in the country with an additional source of liquidity.”

Haytham Elmaayergi, Global Head of Transaction Banking at ADIB

“We are extremely delighted to win the Best Islamic Financier, it highlights the great work the team has done to transition into a digital Islamic Bank and structure new transactions, and further cements our commitment to simplify and digitize Islamic Financing and delivering this in accordance with the highest possible standards. “

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Best Supply Chain Financier

Demica

Demica provide technology and advisory services supporting large scale working capital financing solutions.

Following on from Demica’s significant growth in 2018, and continuous recognition for innovative and agile solutions within the receivables and payables space, Demica is a market leading platform for corporates and financial institutions, a deserving winner of TFG’s ‘Best Supply Chain Financier’.

Last year, we saw FCI select Demica as its “preferred platform provider” so we are confident that Demica will continue its geographic outreach and investment into receivables and payables technology. Demica continues to grow from strength to strength, having demonstrated a successful pilot with FCIreverse in 2018, to allow FCI’s network of 400 banks and factoring firms access to the platform.

What were your recent successes?

“1. In the past year, Demica grew significantly and our AUA grew 30% sitting now at $11.6bn.

2. We were mandated as white label SCF provider for five new bank platforms

3. Increased our workforce by 30% to support our growing business, and in doing so have grown the immense cultural diversity within Demica”

Maurice Benisty, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Demica

We are honoured to receive this award.  This is a recognition of the hard work our team and the confidence our customers place in awarding their business to Demica.  We take neither for granted.

Geographies

Best Finance Providers by Geography

Best Business Finance Provider in Europe

Citi

Citi is a global bank with a mission to responsibly provide financial services that enable growth and economic progress.

Citi are true innovators in global trade finance and working capital solutions. Dominating the market in supply chain finance solutions, TFG commend Citi’s approach to helping businesses be more efficient with working capital.

Just last year, the IFC and Citi extended their trade finance partnership with a US$1.2bn risk-sharing facility to help support trade finance in emerging markets, part of the IFC’s global trade liquidity programme (GTLP).

Citi has been involved with a number of innovative technology solutions, including, Project Wilson, a tech focussed multi-bank, multi-corporate network in trade finance, as well as Komgo SA, a blockchain based platform to digitalise the trade and commodities finance sector.

We were excited to read that 3 of Citi Group’s top strategic priorities in 2019 addressed the macroeconomic and geopolitical outlook which significantly impacts international trade, as well as the ambition to develop an action plan that addresses technological disruption

What were your recent successes?

Citi served as co-debt financial advisor, co-placement agent and sole ECA arranger to Ørsted and Global Infrastructure Partners  on a ca. £3.6bn debt financing package for Hornsea Project One, a greenfield UK offshore wind farm project located in the southern part of the North Sea. Hornsea Project One will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when commissioned, with a total capacity of 1,218MW and will supply clean energy to more than 1 million UK homes.

Citi is one of the founding shareholders of komgo, a blockchain-based platform that will digitise and streamline trade and commodity finance. The platform is live with its first LC processing functionalities since December 2018 and enables a secure and simplified exchange of data and transaction records.

Citi is one of the founding banks of l Trade Information Network (the “Network”). The Network is a digital trusted trade information registry which allows banks to extend financing to corporates much deeper into the supply chain. Corporates will be able to submit and verify purchase orders and invoices to request trade financing from the banks of their choice. By providing those banks with access to trusted trade information, the Network will help to mitigate the risk of double financing and fraudulent trade information across the industry.

Peadar MacCanna and Murat Demiral, Co-Heads of Trade, EMEA, Citi

We are delighted that Citi has been chosen as the “Best Business Finance Provider in Europe. Helping our clients grow and achieve their strategic objectives is the core tenet of our business and a source of pride for our teams.  We thank Trade Finance Global for recognising Citi with this award.

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Best Business Finance Provider in Africa

African Development Bank

AfDB promotes economic and social development of its regional member countries

AfDB has continued to provide innovative financing solutions around export finance, trade, project, infrastructure facilities and bonds.

At TFG, we were excited to hear that AfDB’s Board approved the institution’s 2019 borrowing program to the tune of US$7.24 billion from capital markets.

As a leading project and development finance facilitator, AfDB’s continued social investments as well as the regular issuance of Green and Social Bonds, has increased AfDB’s impact when promoting sustainable and inclusive growth.

Given that their most recent African Economic Outlook forecasts 4% growth in 2019, we’re confident that AfDB’s conribution in terms of supporting and developing financial governance frameworks and liquidity provision for businesses will help drive this growth across the 54 countries.

What were your recent successes?

“1. USD 4.1 Billion approvals since the inception of the Trade Finance programme in 2013 to date.
2. 44 Trade Finance projects covered since the inception of the Trade Finance programme in 2013 to date.
3. USD 7 Billion of transactions supported since the inception of the Trade Finance programme in 2013 to date.

2018 Achievements;

USD200M Soft Commodity Facility to Export Trading Group (Regional) to finance part of the company’s agricultural Investment Program (IP) in Africa, which will promote employment for youths and women, and adopt an integrated value-chain approach that emphasizes access to regional and global markets.

USD250MRisk Participation Agreement to ABSA Bank Limited (Regional) to enhance ABSA’s ability to underwrite trade finance transactions originating from issuing banks in transition states and low-income countries (LICs) across Africa. 

Mr. Pierre GUISLAIN, Vice Presient – Private Sector Infrastructure & Industrialization, AfDB

“I am greatly honored to receive the International Trade Finance Award 2019 (Best Business Finance Provider in Africa) on behalf of the AfDB.”

I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Trade Finance Global for this honor.

I would like to congratulate the AfDB Trade Finance team along with the supporting departments for their commendable efforts in serving the trade finance needs of Africa. Trade is a fundamental driver of economic development and, it is important to ensure that Africa does not miss out on opportunities in key trade markets, due to the unavailability of trade finance.

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Best Business Finance Provider in North America

J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan is a leading global financial services firm.

JPMorgan Chase & Co was the top ranked lender in the North American trade finance market by deal number and total volumes in H1 2018, and jumped up considerably in Euromoney’s 2019 Global Annual Trade Finance Survey.

A historic provider of trade payments, liquidity, and risk management, JP Morgan has been at the forefront of innovation and trade digitisation, as well as helping support trade in difficult to reach markets, (such as through participation with ADB’s Trade Finance Programme).

We’re delighted to award JP Morgan as Best Business Finance Provider in North America, and are confident that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of JP Morgan’s pre-and post-shipment financing programmes in 2019.

What were your recent successes?

J.P. Morgan continues to be at the forefront of innovation and trade digitalization; we launched our new Global Trade Processing platform which includes core robotics and digital data capture capabilities enabling JPM to fully support client’s trade digitization initiatives.

We are committed to support trade in difficult to reach markets. We were selected as “Lead Partner Confirming Bank” by Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the 4th year in a row. We participate in 3 ADB programs and have supported $700 million in Trade flows.   

Most importantly, we continue to put our clients first and remain focused on improving client satisfaction. We are providing trade financing to an increasing number of clients and are building deeper relationships.

Pravin Advani, Managing Director & Global Head of Global Trade & Loan Products, J.P. Morgan

“JPMorgan Chase & Co was the top ranked lender in the North American trade finance market by deal number and total volumes in H1 2018, and jumped up considerably in Euromoney’s 2019 Global Annual Trade Finance Survey.

A historic provider of trade payments, liquidity, and risk management, JP Morgan has been at the forefront of innovation and trade digitisation, as well as helping support trade in difficult to reach markets, (such as through participation with ADB’s Trade Finance Programme).

We’re delighted to award JP Morgan as Best Business Finance Provider in North America, and are confident that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of JP Morgan’s pre-and post-shipment financing programmes in 2019.”

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Best Business Finance Provider in South America

Bank of America

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of the leading global banks in the world. More broadly in regards to this award, Bank of America Merrill Lynch provides treasury management and trade services to corporations and financial institutions across 15 markets in Latin America.

As one of the largest global transaction banks and trade financiers in the world, we’re delighted to award Bank of America ‘Best Business Finance Provider in South America’.

Bank of America continues to invest in technology, with one of the largest investment budgets of any large bank, which is key for enhancing global trade finance solutions and enabling global trade.

What were your recent successes?

Optimize Accounts Payable

BofA Merrill recently launched a full-spectrum accounts payable solution that brings together Supply Chain Finance, Card, and Payments to provide clients a holistic view of their transaction flows. By centralizing spend under a single program umbrella, clients can quickly gain insights they may have otherwise missed, opening up opportunities for them to free up significantly more cash flow, gain greater control over financing and processing costs, and establish stronger relationships across the supply chain.

Supply Chain Finance Roundtables

Being a trusted advisor is part and parcel of delivering exceptional client service. At BofA Merrill, our goal is to not only deliver comprehensive, global Supply Chain Finance solutions, but also ensure our clients get the most out of their programs. In this spirit, we delivered a series of targeted and bespoke Supply Chain Finance Roundtables over the past 12 months, each of which provided an interactive forum for clients, trade finance and working capital specialists to discuss market trends and best practices. These highly curated roundtables enabled BofA Merrill to capture direct voice of the client feedback on the key challenges they face every day, and similarly allowed clients to gain insights and guidance directly from our senior leadership, as well as from each other. Themes covered in these roundtables included:

– An overview of the Supply Chain Finance value proposition, with a focus on working capital optimization
– Cash flow prioritization
– Best practices for implementing and onboarding a successful Supply Chain Finance program
– Accounting treatment, with a focus on debt vs. accounts payable
– Domestic vs. international Supply Chain Finance programs
– How dynamic discounting and virtual cards can complement a Supply Chain Finance program
– Procurement benchmarks and best practices
– How ongoing innovation is impacting Supply Chain Finance, including cybersecurity and technology implications”

Geoff Brady, Managing Director and Head of Global Trade & Supply Chain Finance Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

We are delighted to be recognized by Trade Finance Global in one of our key markets.  We see this as validation of a lot of coordinated effort on behalf of our clients and our dedication to the region.  We will continue to focus and invest to deliver the Bank of America Merrill Lynch franchise to our clients in South America and across the globe

Trade Finance Services

Best Trade Finance Services Category

Best Foreign Exchange Provider

Ebury

Ebury provides cross border transactions, lending and payments.

Ebury is one of the most innovative fintechs in both FX and cross-border trade. As the first ever Fintech to go live with SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi), as well as gaining an impressive number of partnerships under its belt last year (Oracle NetSuite, EBA, Faster Payments and SEPA). Ebury also ranked amongst the Tech Track 100 for the third year running.

At Trade Finance Global, we’ve been impressed with Ebury’s growth and authority as a leading FX firm, and they were ranked among the top forecasters again in Bloomberg’s FX forecast accuracy rankings for the third quarter of 2018.

We are delighted to award Ebury as Best Foreign Exchange Provider for 2019.

What were your recent successes?

“We are the first Fintech ever to use SWIFT gpi, which gives our clients access to payments credited within 30 minutes (many within seconds), total transparency of fees for transactions and end-to-end payment tracking.

In partnership with Form3, we are the first non-bank to go live as a direct participant of the Faster Payment scheme, which required approval from the Bank of England. We are able to collect GBP domestically 24/7 almost instantaneously and provide our clients with their own named account.

In Q4 2018 we were the number one EUR/USD Bloomberg forecaster, and came second for the entire Latin American region out of 63 participants – including all of the world’s major commercial and investment banks

Paolo Giabardo, Managing Director UK, Ebury

“We are very pleased to win the award for Best Foreign Exchange Provider from Trade Finance Global. In a heavily saturated market, it takes a lot to stand out, and I am happy that the work done by Ebury’s exceptional team has been recognised.”

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Best Trade Credit Insurance Firm

Euler Hermes

Euler Hermes insures buyers from companies so they can trade with confidence.

Euler Hermes are leaders in trade credit insurance. With around 6000 risk experts present in 60+ countries they insure around USD900bn of global trade, we commend Euler Hermes’s position as an industry leader in the space.

2018 has certainly seen an increasing shift towards the use of credit insurance in trade finance, and we’ve enjoyed hearing about Euler Hermes (and Euler Hermes Digital Agency) looking into the Insuretech opportunities within the trade arena.

What were your recent successes?

– In 2018 Euler Hermes fully integrated into the Allianz Group in a move that recognised the robustness of our business model and expertise in the field of trade credit insurance. It marks a new chapter in our history that will see us embark on a programme of digital transformation where we will grow our IT capabilities, define new areas for growth and embrace different opportunities and ways of working. This will significantly broaden and improve the levels of service and cover we are able to offer our customers
– We also launched a new method of finance support for exporting SMEs in Credable. Trialled in Sweden, this offers invoice insurance for SMEs based on traditional trade credit insurance. It now provides cover for Swedish SMEs in 24 European countries and represents another step in the Group’s digital transformation
– A partnership with C2FO, a dynamic discounting marketplace, was also established following its $30m investment by Allianz. C2FO allows suppliers to benefit from discounts on their trade credit insurance in exchange for early payment on-demand, helping optimise cash flows.

Milo Bogaerts, CEO Euler Hermes UK and Ireland, Euler Hermes

“Being recognised as trade credit insurance firm of the year is an incredible achievement and testament to the hard work and confidence to be bold in their approach of everyone at Euler Hermes. We’re looking forward to building on this achievement over the coming year to ensure we’re constantly leading the way in customer service, innovation and transformation in trade credit insurance.”

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Best Trade Finance Recruitment Company

Johnson Associates

Specialise in the recruitment of Trade Finance Professionals.

Trade is a force for good, but requires considerable talent and skills. At Trade Finance Global, we know we need to address the increasing trade skills gap. Johnson Associates continues to help place candidates within a wide array of trade finance roles at leading institutions.

We are delighted to award Best Trade Finance Recruitment Company to Johnson Associates, commending CEO Rob Johnson for his continued dedication, and contribution to the sector.

What were your recent successes?

2018 is our most profitable year to date. Placements have increased by 8% on 2017 whilst supporting an increased number of clients. Continued to secure life/career changing roles for many Trade Finance candidates working in London. Winning the Trade Finance Global awards for the 3rd year running.

Rob Johnson, MD, Johnson Associates

” Personally I have recruited into Trade Finance for 15 years and we have won this award for the past 3 years, since the inception of Johnson Associates. It is a great acknowledgement of all the efforts and hard work my team and I go to, year on year, to offer an unparalleled service to both our clients and candidates. I’m very proud to receive the award on behalf of Johnson Associates, and look forward to the year ahead”

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Best Trade Finance Deal of the Year

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy is an international law firm providing services for global business.

The ‘Best Trade Finance Deal of the Year’ goes to Allen & Overy’s ‘Noble Group restructuring deal’, where A&O advised ING on a $3.5bn USD debt restructuring and $700m of new trade and hedging facilities. The transaction was spread across multiple jurisdictions with considerable complexity.

Allen & Overy advised ING Bank N.V. (ING) in relation to its involvement in the financial restructuring of the global commodities trader, Noble Group Ltd (Noble). Noble manages a portfolio of global supply chains across a range of industrial and energy products and markets, processes, finances and transports key commodities. Due to the very wide range of creditors involved and the global scale of Noble’s business, the restructuring has been described as one of the most complex restructurings ever completed in Asia. Read more about this deal here.

A&O have certainly cemented themselves as a top adviser on new-to-market, complex transactions in the trade space. They have worked across challenging jurisdictions, to complete a wide range of commodity finance transactions, many of which are first of their kind.

What were your recent successes?

We are proud to be consistently recognised as the leading legal adviser to the trade & commodity finance industry. Last year we were awarded trade finance law firm of the year by Euromoney, Global Trade Review and TXF and were involved in a number of innovative transactions, including the Naftogaz/World Bank structured trade finance transaction which was recognised at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards.

David Campbell, Partner, Allen & Overy

We are very proud to be involved in this transaction and would like to congratulate ING, Deutsche Bank and the other advisers for this award.  We also congratulate Noble for completing this complex and difficult restructuring, and wish the company all the best as it moves forward.

The new facilities we helped put in place for Noble show the flexibility of the trade finance product: a company in distress was supported to continue trading throughout a period of uncertainty, and the post-restructuring committed facilities give the group a solid and reliable foundation on which to rebuild its business.  One innovative feature of these facilities was to separate credit risk from operational trade finance.  This means that a wider pool of capital providers can participate in the risk and reward of trade finance, while the operational aspects are dealt with by specialist trade finance banks which have the staff and expertise to handle the regular flow of trades.  In combining the expertise of its restructuring and trade finance teams, A&O has once again shown its ability to marshal different legal disciplines to deliver a seamless service for our clients.”

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Best Trade Finance Law Firm

Sullivan & Worcester

Sullivan & Worcester’s market-leading Trade & Export Finance Group advises clients on trade finance transactions in a wide range of jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets.

Sullivan & Worcester remains active at the forefront of trade finance from a legal perspective, in an ever changing marketplace. We commend S&W’s hands on approach to regulatory, geopolitical and macroeconomic events, and 2018 was certainly a turbulent ride for trade, treasury and risk markets. In particular, we applaud  Geoffrey Wynne’s approach to cutting through complexity on topics such as Basel iii (and iv), unfunded credit risk mitigation (CRM) through the PRA paper and EBA responses.

What were your recent successes?

1. In 2018, the team maintained an exceptional workload in terms of geography, the range of commodities and the number and quality of transactions in relation to Trade, Commodity and Export Finance.

2. In 2018, work included advising national and international banks, finance houses and investment funds on the structuring and documentation of various trade finance and letter of credit facilities, pre-export, pre-shipment and warehouse financings and various receivable purchase programmes across the emerging markets.

3. The team advised BAFT on its updated English law Master Participation Agreement (MPA) and associated usage guidelines. The MPA, drafted more than 10 years ago and updated for the first time this year, serves as the industry standard for secondary market transactions to facilitate the buying and selling of trade finance-related assets globally.

Geoffrey Wynne, Partner, Head of the Trade & Export Finance Group and Sullivan & Worcester’s London office.

“We are pleased to be recognised with the Best Trade Finance Law Firm Award by Trade Finance Global. Our commitment to this sector and supporting clients at a time of significant change in the market is unwavering and we look forward to 2019 and beyond to help expand the work we are doing.”

Technology & Innovation

Best Technology Innovators in Trade Finance

Innovator in Global Trade

ICC Banking Commission

ICC Banking Commission is the world’s essential rule-making body for the banking industry

In 2018 the ICC Banking Commission saw geopolitical shifts and macroeconomic instability within the international community. For the ICC Banking Commission, it was a year of bringing countries together at times of uncertainty, innovating within global trade, and championing international cooperation, which is why TFG are proud to name the ICC Banking Commission ‘Innovator in Global Trade’. The ICC Banking Commission will continue working on digitization of global trade finance and is looking ahead to another exciting year in global trade finance.

What were your recent successes?

Thanks to its members, the ICC Banking Commission stands strong and relevant today. This is ever more important against the backdrop of a shifting industry landscape, disrupted by digitisation opportunities and trade policy challenges – both topics we frequently address as an organization in 2018

– Advancement on work on digitization, notably new rules (eUCP & eURC)
– Clarification on legal value of electronic documents (Report on “The Legal Status of E-bills of Lading” released in Oct 2018)

David Bischof, Deputy Director, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission

The ICC Banking Commission is committed to responding to the growing changes and challenges faced across the trade finance industry. We are extremely proud to be awarded Innovator in Global Trade and will continue our efforts in identifying and supporting innovation in trade finance with both organizational thought leadership and ultimately standardisation and rules.

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Best Shipping company

A. P. Moller – Maersk

Maersk is an integrated container logistics company with a vision of connecting and simplifying our customers’ supply chain.

Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipper, has fully pioneered its trade finance offering to both customers and customers’ suppliers since its inception in 2017, seeking to fill a lending gap left by indebted banks pulling out of the crisis-hit shipping industry.

Following on from this success, Maersk recently expanded its trade finance offering to include customs brokerage, to facilitate communication between government authorities and the importers and exporters.

On the blockchain and DLT front, we saw the impressive joint development of Tradelens, by Maersk and IBM, which had some 90+ signed-up participants last year.

We commend Maersk’s approach to innovative finance solutions to its customers, extending credit facilities to numerous providers and cross-selling beyond its core offering.

What were your recent successes?

“Throughout 2018 Maersk reached several successful milestones such as successfully completing the separation of its energy businesses, integrating Hamburg Süd as well as being the first container shipping company to launch instant booking confirmation. These steps are further contributing to Maersk’s vision of becoming a global integrator of container logistics  offering seamless, flexible and scalable services to customers across their global supply chain.

“Digital technologies have allowed us to significantly enhance our customer experience. Examples of new services launched in 2018: online booking, Twill digital freight forwarder, TradeLens – our blockchain fueled digital platform for global trade etc.

Vipul Sardana, Global Head of Maersk Trade Finance, A.P. Moller -Maersk

“It is an honour to be recognized at the International trade finance awards for all the benefits that Maersk Trade Finance brings to global trade. It is a recognition from the industry that we are on the right track and are continuously re-inventing ourselves to build a purpose-driven organization.”

“Access to capital, remains to be one of the largest obstacles to the growth of trade and there is still a lot that needs to be done. With Maersk Trade Finance we are helping SMEs with finance when they need it the most and thus enabling them better access to global trade. We thank the panel for their consideration and reinforce our commitment on staying the course.”

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Best Treasury Management Platform

Kyriba

Kyriba empowers financial leaders to reduce risk and optimize liquidity.

As a world leading provider of cloud treasury and financial management solutions, Kyriba demonstrated a 70% year on year increase in sales in the first quarter of 2018, and that was just the start. With expansion into new markets, a whole host of enterprise level corporates newly onboarded and $100mn of revenue predicted for 2018, TFG has certainly been watching Kyriba’s explosion as a fast growing, award winning company.

In today’s complex business environment, financial executives, CFOs and treasurers need real time, accurate information at their fingertips in order to make quick decisions and succeed. The continued investment in people, partners and product are certainly helping Kyriba achieve this and capitalise on such opportunities.

What were your recent successes?

We achieved a category leader position from IDC in treasury and risk management, we were recognized by CB Insights as a FinTech 250-among the world’s most influential FinTech solutions, and The SaaS Report recognized Jean-Luc Robert, Chairman and CEO, Kyriba, among the Top 50 CEOs in SaaS. He placed #6!

We invested heavily in our European offices, expanded our leadership teams, and added more new new clients than in the past year. In fact, 2018 was a record year for growth in Europe.  

We innovated two key strategic solutions, including Lease Accounting for IFRS 16 and Business Intelligence to deliver better data visualization so financial directors can better understand how to protect and mobilize their assets to accelerate growth at their organization.

Jean-Luc Robert, Chairman and CEO, Kyriba

“We are thrilled to be recognized as the Best Treasury Management Platform,” said Jean-Luc Robert, CEO and Chairman. “We are committed to building-out our industry-leading platform, and to expanding the value we bring to our growing list of customers.”

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Best Trade Finance Software Provider

HPD LendScape

HPD provide the LendScape working capital finance IT platform.

HPD continues to expand and grow internationally, in times of volatility and uncertainty. HPD’s expansion has helped facilitate trade and working capital finance through its software products for SMEs around the world, helping finance providers deal with the nuances of invoice finance for their customers. With over 50 thousand business being funded via the HPD LendScape platform and having won the 2018 Queen’s Award for Enterprise, we look forward to hearing more good news from HPD LendScape in 2019.

What were your recent successes?

“Winner of the International Trade category in the 2018 Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Winner of the Technology Solution Provider of the Year – Vendor award at the 2018 BCR’s RFIx – Receivables Finance International Awards.

Danske Bank vendor Award nomination 2018 – Best Initiative to improve Danske Bank customer experience.”

Kevin Day, CEO, HPD LendScape

“We are honoured to receive the Best Trade Finance Software Provider award and I’m extremely proud of what our company has achieved.”

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Best Trade Technology Company

Export Enterprises

Helping Banks Grow Beyond Banking

At TFG, we believe that accurate and reliable market data is a force for good. The software and content that is provided by Export Enterprises has helped facilitate millions of important decisions for both trade financiers and businesses looking to trade cross-border. The 190 country profiles featured on Export Enterprises have rich content and market information on import-export flows, best countries for exporting /importing, 25,000 Market reports and related alerts, international tenders and related alerts and 12,000 trade shows. As a B2B technology data provider in the international trade space, we commend Export Enterprises for their continued work in this space.

What were your recent successes?

1. We developed a matchmaking algorithm that finds the best matches for any company inside a community
2. RBC Global Connect, a complete resource for international trade companies from Canada: trade knowledge resources and a community interconnected with dozens of other countries
3. The RM Dashboard: an interface for Relationship Managers to onboard their clients in non-financial tools, suggest opportunities, monitor usage, etc

Etienne Vauchez, CEO, Export Enterprises

EE is very happy to be awarded this Prize. We work hard every day to deliver state of the art software solutions and content to satisfy our clients’ needs. This prize is an encouragement for us to work harder and develop innovative solutions to help banks go beyond traditional Trade Finance solutions. 

Education and Publishers

Best Trade Content and Publishing Category

Best Trade Finance Education Provider

Institute of Export & International Trade

World-class training, qualifications, and abundant trade resources for UK exporters.

The Institute of Export & International Trade continues to lead the way for international trade finance and enhancing export performance, whilst setting and maintaining professional standards. As a champion of cross-border trade, IOEIT had a fantastic 2018 with highly attended summits and forums, the introduction of many new courses and strategic partnerships with other leading organisations in trade.

IOEIT were officially recognised as ‘Small Business Champions’ by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2018, which we highly commend.

Following a year of geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges, the IOEIT continues to be at the forefront of export promotion and education and we believe that 2019 will be another strong year for the institute.

What were your recent successes?

– Our partnership with UKEF on the ‘Award in Trade Finance’ qualification, which all UKEF, FCO and DIT staff now take to ensure a thorough product knowledge, has been greatly received. It creates an understanding of how UKEF’s financial products fit within a commercial setting in all sizes of business. Once this is completed, staff can move on to a Level 5 Diploma in International Trade which ensures they understand the fuller context of international trade when advising companies on key international business tasks like international physical distribution, international marketing strategy, and of course the financing of international trade. We provide all this training in such a way that ties in effectively with UKEF’s core offerings and services.

– We were named a ‘Small Business Champion’ by the World Trade Organisation and the International Chamber of Commerce after running the first ‘Open to Export International Business Awards’ in Geneva. This competition saw SMEs from 74 countries using our online planning tool on Open to Export, enabling businesses from all over the world to enter international trade for the first time.

– We ran a successful project in Saudi Arabia, training the Saudi Export Development Authority in best practice in international trade. They selected us after their research into the world’s leading trade training institutions resulted in ourselves being their highest rated body, alongside FITT in Canada who we ourselves set up!

Lesley Batchelor OBE, Director General, Institute of Export & International Trade

“We are delighted to be recognised with this Trade Finance Education Provider Award from Trade Finance Global. It is a great recognition of the impact of our partnership with UK Export Finance on the Award in Trade Finance qualification – a qualification that is now being taken by all trade finance advisers in UKEF, DIT and the FCO.

“We hope this is just the start, as we look to partner with more banks and trade finance organisations on our qualifications, ensuring that the export advice they give is thorough and well-rounded”

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Best Trade Finance Publisher

TXF

TXF provide the export, trade and commodity finance communities with high-quality news, data, events and awards.

TXF continues to provide in-depth news, top quality publications and excellent thought leadership for the trade and commodity finance community. Through it’s events, awards and publication, TXF have driven debate, provoked thought, and brought together the entire trade and commodity finance community in 2018, with more conferences, articles and events than the previous year.

What were your recent successes?

– Launching our FIT (Financing International Trade) Zone, which is designed to actively involve more short-term trade finance practitioners in news, events and forums.
– Revamping our whole news offering and website. We now provide two daily newsletters – one on trade and commodity finance, one on export and project finance and a weekly on trade finance as well as the weekly blog.
– Hosting the largest conference in the world focused on export finance and hosting the largest conference in the world focused on commodity finance.

Jonathan Bell, Director and Editor-in-Chief, TXF

“TXF is absolutely delighted to have won this Best Trade Finance Publisher award as it comes on the back of a really concerted effort from all the workers in our company to strive for excellence. We are the only company of our kind providing news, data and events across the whole range of trade finance, and it is great to be recognised for our efforts. Thank you so much.”

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Best Trade Editor (Individual)

Shannon Manders

Shannon Manders, Editorial Director at GTR, is a remarkable journalist, editor and networker with vast industry knowledge. In 2018, Shannon and her editorial team continued to cut through the complexity of international trade and highlight the key industry trends and changes. As an inspirational woman in the international trade community, her work in driving the GTR Women in Trade Finance initiative, and her role as an advisor for the British Exporters Association (BExA), we look forward to Shannon going from strength to strength in 2019.

What were your recent successes?

“From the perspective of the editorial team:

We continued to see growth in online news readers, despite taking the decision to implement a paywall midway through the year.

With much pride, we helped grow the GTR Women in Trade events – taking the initiative to the Middle East and Asia for the first time.

Shannon Manders, Editor, GTR

“Economic, technological and political trends are reshaping the nature of trade business. Our job is to stay relevant and keep in touch with developments in a very fast-changing market. Disruption means a constant stream of new players in the market and keeping abreast of that has its challenges. It’s vital that we maintain a strong and constantly refreshed network of contacts. I am tremendously pleased to be recognised – and just in time for my 10-year anniversary at GTR. Thank you.”

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Methodology and Process

Trade Finance Global (TFG) takes the judging of the International Trade Finance Awards to be a serious matter. In the interests of transparency around the selection process, the methodology is detailed below.

TFG have a team of both in house analysts and external consultants who would’ve conducted a mixture of quantitative and qualitative reviews on a number of trade finance banks and liquidity providers, as well as SAAS companies, fintechs / non-bank liquidity providers, law and insurance firms.

1. TFG announces a ‘call for award nominations’ which is published as an advertisement with email alerts also sent out

2. The award nominations that are received and also selected are then sorted into respective award categories. A staff member passes these nominations to the first stage TFG internal judging team and then to an internal member of staff to further judge

3. The TFG judging team, independently of each other, read each of the submissions and decide if it (A) Meets the criteria of the category (B) Is worthy of being a finalist

The TFG judging team grades each submission 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most suitable for the finalist list). The first stage judges pass on the top three nominations for each category, unless the total nominations exceed ten, in which case four go on to the second stage. If there are less than three entries all nominations go on to the second stage of judging

The marking criteria were based on a mixture of, public information on deal volumes, and transactions numbers by market, as well as the company’s ability develop innovative finance structures and products in the changing market

TFG also looked at public reviews on client satisfaction, the quality of, and content produced (on site) around their products, as well as brand share in the category, looking extensively at social coverage and brand advocacy

1. The Advisory board members are industry experts from the field and academia in structured trade and commodity finance, fintech and technology or law. A staff member sends a packet of the finalist selections to each advisory board member for each award category they have selected to judge

2. With attention to confidentiality, the awards submissions are returned rated 1 to 5 and a staff member sorts the information, notes the winners and prepares the information for the final awards campaign and relevant press releases

3. In the unlikely event of a tie following the second stage of judging, the tie will be broken by an impartial industry expert on the TFG staff or contributing editorial board

See the full terms and conditions here, or download the Trade Finance Excellence Awards Brochure. Find out about the 2019 Awards here.

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Previous Awards

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