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The Shock of the New

The 2020 RFIx programme is themed ‘The Shock of the New’. The phrase ‘ the shock of the new’ is taken from a 1980 documentary television series. It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and the immense impact and change this had on the global art world. This phrase was felt to be very appropriate in reflecting what is happening in the global receivables finance industry and the huge and relatively sudden impact new technology is having on the sector now and what its likely to have in the near future.

‘There are two key aspects that make RFIx 2020 a particularly important event. The first is that it is the 20th Anniversary of the first RFIx and as such we will make it a special event with a great programme, topics, speakers, and of course, networking. The second is the rapidly increasing scope of opportunity for the receivables finance industry. This whole sector is evolving and developing so rapidly that these are very exciting, even shocking times. Come, join us and be a part of something special…’

Michael Bickers


Ammar Al-Saleh Ammar Al-Saleh
Associate Director, Senior Counsel, Legal Transition Team, ERBD

Ammar is an Associate Director, Senior Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) based in London. Ammar works in the Legal Transition Team, which is in charge of the Legal Transition Programme. This is a programme within EBRD focused on improving the investment climate in EBRDs region by helping to create investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environments. Ammar focuses on access to finance legal reform. Which includes assistance in the development of modern legal and regulatory systems for secured credit, strengthening of the collateral regimes, supporting the development of agricultural financing products, financial structures such as leasing and factoring, and FinTech and blockchain solutions.

Rowan Austin
Head of Trade Origination & Advisory, NatWest

Rowan is Head of Trade Origination & Advisory for NatWest, and has extensive cross-product and sectoral knowledge having worked for four banks across six continents. He commenced his banking career with Goldman Sachs, before joining Barclays and performing roles across Corporate, International and Investment Banking. Having developed a specialism in corporate and cross-border finance, Rowan then joined Europe Arab Bank where he built a commodity and trade finance function across Europe and the Middle East / North Africa region, as well as building an Islamic Finance capability. Rowan joined NatWest in 2011 to develop a Debt Product Management function, with responsibility for lending products and portfolio performance across the Corporate bank. Having then supported the restructuring of the global business to focus on core UK and western European markets, he was subsequently appointed to lead the Trade & Working Capital Product function which focused on delivering product and service excellence to NatWest’s customers. Now leading the Trade Origination & Advisory team, Rowan is driving NatWest’s presence and capability in the Trade Finance market, with a key focus on innovation, digitisation and business development across all product areas.

Elliot Avison
CEO, Dancerace

Elliot is CEO of Dancerace, the complete, connected commercial finance OS. Technologist by trade and psychologist by training, Elliot has led the award-winning firm to rapid growth across Europe, Africa, Asia and America since 2015. Today, Elliot is working to realise the company’s vision to transform banks, lenders and borrowers ABL operations via open connectivity, data intelligence and intuitive user experiences. To find out more, visit dancerace.com.

Jim Bidwell Jim Bidwell
Head of Trade Services Product Management, NatWest

Jim is the Head of Trade Services Product Management, responsible for the strategy and performance of the product set. He is a prominent figure in the Trade Finance industry, representing the RBS/Nat West Group on various external industry groups including the International Chamber of Commerce, UK Finance and the Bankers Association for Foreign Trade amongst others and speaking at external events and conferences. Jim is driving the transformation agenda for trade and has been leading the bank’s development of solutions based on Distributed Ledger Technology and leading its participation in industry consortiums such as Contour and Marco Polo. Jim is a career international banker who has undertaken senior roles in operations, origination and product management initially with Barclays and latterly with the RBS Group which he joined in 2014.

James Binns
Managing Director, Global Head of Trade and Working Capital, Barclays

James Binns is the Global Head of Trade and Working Capital for Barclays Bank, which serves corporate, non-bank FI and FI clients globally with teams located in UK, Europe, Americas, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to joining Barclays, James spent 4.5 years at Deutsche Bank where he headed Working Capital Advisory and Trade Finance for EMEA and latterly Global Cross Product Solutions. This followed 20 years at HSBC where James was based across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, USA and UK in a number of senior corporate banking and trade finance roles.

Steve Box
Founder and Managing Director, Kata Executive Consulting

Steve is an industry expert with over 35 years of extensive experience in banking and working capital in global markets. He currently holds several senior strategic positions for a number of NBFI fintech companies and industry associations, including Chairman of Accelerated Payments, CF2H and Smart Business Link and Strategic Advisor to WOA (World of Open Account), Hitachi Capital, OCI Ltd. and Muse Ltd amongst others. Steve has previously held a variety of domestic and international roles, including: Deputy Chair and Head of Origination at Channel Capital Advisors LLP, Head of Europe/UK at Falcon Group, International CEO of Europe/Asia and North America at Bibby Financial Services, Global Head of Receivables Finance at HSBC (operating across 30 countries), European Head of Trade, Supply Chain, Commodities and Receivables Finance and CEO at HSBC Invoice Finance (UK) Ltd, Trade Finance and Equipment Finance Ltd (UK). Steve was previously Chairman of Asset Based Finance Association (UK), Board and Exec Committee member of International Factors Group and Factors Chain International.

Dr Kerstin Carolin Braun
President, Stenn Group

Kerstin Braun has over 20 years of experience in executive management of multinational companies focused on financial risk products. She brings proven success in top and bottom line growth, expansion of distribution channels and building sustainable partnerships, improved operational performance, product innovation, and organisational effectiveness. Kestin joined Stenn in 2017 as Global Head of Sales, becoming President in 2018. At Stenn, she directs all areas of the company’s growth and development, including building Stenn’s global brand, charting the company’s continued expansion in terms of portfolio and footprint, and implementing technology to optimise operational performance. Prior to Stenn, Kerstin held positions of increasing responsibility at global credit insurer Coface, first in Germany and then in the United States, most recently as Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing. Prior to that she held several management positions at Coface Germany, including Sales Director covering Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In these roles, Kerstin achieved consistent success in establishing and managing high performing passionate teams in multinational and multicultural environments. Her experience extends to strategic planning and business development, reorganisation, CRM systems and process excellence programmes, sales leadership, and building sustainable partnerships. Kerstin holds a Doctor of Law degree from University of Tübingen and a PhD in Law from Universität Salzburg. She is a Professor / Guest Lecturer in International Sales Management at ESB Business School, Reutlingen University.

Dr. Eugenio Cavenaghi
MD, Head of Working Capital Advisory and Structured Trade, Europe, Banco Santander

Eugenio is responsible at Santander for the advisory of corporate and investment banking clients in Europe on all topics around the optimisation of working capital. This encompasses the full set of receivables, payables, inventory and structured trade finance products. He was formerly Regional Product Head of Trade and Working Capital for Barclays in Europe. Prior to this, he has also worked as Global Head of Trade Product Development and Sales Facilitation at UniCredit and as Product Manager at Deutsche Bank. Before entering the field of banking, he gathered direct experience in the corporate world working for multinationals like Procter & Gamble and Chicco-Artsana Spa.

Paul Coles
Director – Treasury, Orbian Management; Chair, Market Practice Committee, ITFA

Paul Coles has a specific focus on managing, developing and adding to Orbian's funding relationships for its supply chain finance programmes. Prior to joining Orbian, Paul was responsible for overseeing the transactional distribution activity that supported HSBC’s Global Trade and Receivables Finance business. He has also been the global co-ordinator and EMEA Head for trade risk distribution at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and previously the trade asset management Regional Head at RBS NV, part of the legacy ABN AMRO network, where he was in the London-based trade credit distribution team. He started his career in trade finance over 25 years ago at London Forfaiting Company, where he held a variety of roles. Paul has a BSc in Management Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a member of the Board of the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA), where he currently chairs the Market Practice Committee.

Dani Coti Dani Cotti
Managing Director, Center of Excellence, Banking & Trade, Marco Polo

Dani has over 30 years of experience in Global Trade Finance, Transaction Services, Banking and Technology. Dani was the European Trade Finance Head at Citibank and Global Head of Trade Finance and Transaction Products at ABN AMRO/RBS. Subsequently, he managed and build out the Global Trade Finance and Loans business at JP Morgan. In 2015, he founded Cotti Trade & Treasury, a consultancy firm for global trade finance. Dani is a Trade Finance industry expert and had industry wide, global engagements with SWIFT, BAFT, ICC and WTO organizations and is currently the non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Bolero Intl. Ltd and a member of the board of the GLEIF Foundation.

Jonathan Croft
Managing Director and CIO, Société Générale Factoring

Jonathan graduated from Pembroke College Oxford and started his IT career in 1991 with a European consultancy firm working in the banking and finance sector. 1996 marked his first factoring experience with solution integrations and Y2K migrations. Over the last 32 years Jonathan has played major IT roles across Europe from development and infrastructure to architecture and strategy with a strong business mindset. He has successfully led factoring teams through migrations, integrations, joint venture creations and most recently agile, infrastructure and digital transformations. In February 2017, Jonathan joined Société Générale as CIO heading up the Business and Information Solutions Directorate and as an Executive Committee member.

Kevin Day
CEO, Lendscape

Kevin is committed to making Lendscape the technology partner of choice for banks and independent funders operating in the invoice finance, factoring, supply chain finance and asset finance markets.He has spent over 30 years at the company, and during this time, he has held positions as Software Developer, Business Analyst, Product Manager, Product Director, Board Member and COO. Kevin’s detailed understanding of the business, deep knowledge of the complex nature of secured lending products and the dynamics of an ever-changing market has given him a measured and unique perspective on technology and finance. He leads Lendscape with a continuous programme of R&D and investment, working closely with its growing client base to ensure simplified SME finance solutions. This focus on investment has enabled significant company growth and Lendscape now employs a global team to support its technology, business development, and customer support initiatives. While frequently requested for speaking engagements, as an author, Kevin has contributed to industry publications, including the Financial Times, Business Money, and Euromoney, writing on topics such as digitalisation, open architectures, and cloud computing to drive new technology innovation.

Eric de Vienne Eric de Vienne
Head of Investor Finance, Portfolio Management & Distribution, Europe, HSBC

Eric de Vienne is Head of Portfolio Management & Distribution for HSBC’s Global Trade & Receivables Finance (GTRF) business in Europe. This role offers a one shop solution to coordinate access for GTRF assets (incl. core trade, guarantees, receivables, supply chain and commodity finance) to liquidity diversification across the traditional trade finance banks and non-bank financial institutions universe. The role also covers GTRF portfolio management responsibilities and is part of the GTRF Europe Management Team. Eric joined HSBC in 2012 and has been working for more than 20 years in originating, structuring and funding debt products across loan and debt capital markets. Eric holds a M.S. in Financial Engineering.

Patrick de Villepin Patrick de Villepin
Patrick de Villepin, Chairman, FCI, President, BNP Paribas Factoring Network

Patrick de Villepin is Chairman of FCI since June 2019 and Factoring Global Head of BNP Paribas Group, since 2003. A leader in Europe, BNP Paribas Factoring is the umbrella name for the Competence Centre (located in Brussels) and its 15 Factoring entities (13 in Europe, 2 non-Europe). As Global Head, Patrick de Villepin is chairman of BNP Paribas Factor in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal, of BNP Paribas Commercial Finance in UK, vice-chairman of Ifitalia and board member of other entities. Patrick holds a PHD in History (Sorbonne University), a diploma of Sciences Po. Paris & of École Nationale d’Administration (ENA). Auditor at the French “Cour des comptes”, he has been with BNP Paribas Group for 30 years. He is also chairman of the French Factoring Association (Commission Affacturage de l’Association Française des Sociétés Financières, ASF) since 2014 and member of the Board of ASF since 2015.

Alex Dell
Partner, Mayer Brown

Alex Dell is the co-head of asset based lending (ABL) and a partner in the Banking & Finance practice of the London office. His practice is particularly focussed on highly structured receivables financing and ABL transactions, often with a cross-border element. Alex is equally experienced advising on mid-market opportunities as well as investment grade corporate structures, both from a lender and borrower perspective. He also has an in-depth knowledge of supply chain finance, transit finance and vendor and title finance. Alex represents banks, financial institutions, sponsors and corporates, and advises on cross-border transactions for some of the world’s largest financial institutions and companies. He is widely-recognised as a leading ABL and receivables finance lawyer in the UK. Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 2015, Alex led the Structured Trade & Receivables Finance team with another leading international law firm.

Ignacio Frutos
Global Head of Receivables, Santander Corporate and Investment Banking

Ignacio has over 13 years' experience in corporate investment banking performing different roles in London and Madrid in Structured Trade Finance and Receivables Solutions. Currently as Global head of Receivables, Ignacio leads the Receivables business within Santander CIB helping corporates to optimise their working capital needs.

Matthew Gamser Dr Matthew Gamser
CEO, SME Finance Forum, International Finance Corporation

Matthew Gamser is CEO of the SME Finance Forum, the world’s leading centre for knowledge exchange, good practice promotion and networking for the finance industry in this field. The SME Finance Forum is managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, for the G-20 countries’ Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. The SME Finance Forum has over 170 banks, fintech companies and development banks, operating in over 190 countries, as its members and industry partners and serves as a key partner for the G20, APEC, OECD and other multilateral institutions in small business financing. Dr. Gamser has over 40 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked for IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, for 16 years in various positions from Washington, DC, and Hong Kong, where he has focused on SME finance and on financial sector development. Prior to that he spent 25 years in management consulting and in senior leadership in an international NGO. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.

José Antonio Garrote Pazos
Business Manager, Alvantia

José Antonio Garrote is the Business Manager at Alvantia, and has more than 20 years of experience in developing banking projects for Spanish and international financial institutions. He is a computer engineer and led the development of Santander Bank's SCF product in the late ‘90s. Since that success, José has mainly focused his career on trade financing, and has also managed SCF projects in many different financial entities and banks such as Liberbank and Banesto, as well as Santander. José has been heavily involved in several landmark projects, including managing the deployment of Santander Bank’s Spanish SCF application in the UK and Mexico, as well as the development of the bank's SCF application for their international branches.

Walter Gontarek Walter Gontarek
Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Channel

Walt previously founded and served as global head of credit products at the Royal Bank of Canada and has worked in the City and on Wall Street in various senior capital markets roles. He also served as president of a retail banking platform in the US. Walter holds a doctorate in finance from Cranfield University and an MBA (Finance) from NYU Stern, and has published in leading academic journals on risk governance issues. Walt is a visiting fellow of Cranfield University where he lectures on risk governance and regulation, as well FinTech developments. He serves on financial services companies’ boards and was a named a financial market expert by PRIME finance at its inaugural meeting at the Peace Palace, The Hague in 2012.

Lex Greensill Lex Greensill
Founder, Greensill

Lex Greensill CBE is co-founder and CEO of Greensill, the leading non-bank provider of working capital finance to companies globally. Lex’s early life was spent on his family’s sugar cane farm in Bundaberg, Australia where he learnt first-hand how a business can be made or broken by the supply chains to which it belongs. It is upon this intimate knowledge of the global supply network that Lex founded Greensill in 2011. In just eight years Greensill has grown to become a world leader in working capital finance, providing more than $150 billion of financing to more than 8 million customers and suppliers in over 165 countries. Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi. He holds an MBA from Manchester Business School and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland. He has also been awarded the CBE for services to the UK economy.

Sean Hanafin
Co-Founder of Silver Birch Finance
Suresh Hegde
Head of Structured Private Debt, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Suresh is Head of Structured Private Debt at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Prior to joining GSAM, he worked at NN Investment Partners where he founded both the Structured Private Debt and Insurance Solutions businesses. He previously held roles in structured finance origination and credit structuring at J P Morgan, Bear Stearns, and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and as a credit analyst at Standard & Poor’s. Suresh started his career at Linklaters in London. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Political Science from the University of Bristol.

Louis Hofmeijer
Co-Owner, Dutch Finance Lab

Mr Hofmeijer has more than thirty years’ experience in factoring and another nine years in leadership positions in credit insurance. His experience includes managing all different types of asset based lending including inventory finance, transaction finance and all types of factoring. During his work at NMB-Heller (a subsidiary of ING Bank and Heller/GECC) he was CEO of various factoring companies in France and Austria. During this period he established successful Greenfield operations together with IFC in Poland and the Czech Republic both market leaders at present. In 2009 he founded Credit Convergence a management company and worked on launching Alfa Commercial Finance. In 2018 he established Dutch Finance Lab and Impact Factoring and BizPay securing a 50 mln funding line. In 2019 he established African Finance Lab focusing on factoring and SCF start-up and scale-ups in Africa in cooperation with a number of investment funds and fintechs. Mr Hofmeijer is educated in commercial economics and speaks besides Dutch, English, French, German. He is currently working on book on impact (reverse) factoring in emerging markets from a 4d perspective.

Daniel Huszár
Head of Sales, EFCOM

Daniel Huszár is Head of Sales at efcom, a technology company focused on the receivables finance market. Coming from the business and distribution side of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mr Huszár founded his own advertising agency, before joining efcom in 2012. As Head of Sales, he supports efcom's international business expansion, by defining a global marketing and sales strategy. Mr Huszár is a regular speaker at international conferences hosted by FCI, BCR Publishing and numerous European factoring associations. His main interest and driving force is to add value to the industry through insight about future technologies.

Admir Imami
Investment Director, Head of Trade & Supply Chain Finance, CDC Group

Admir Imami is a Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at CDC Group, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, wholly owned by the UK Government. Heading up CDC’s growing Trade and Supply Chain Finance business, Admir brings a wealth of knowledge gained from over 20 years’ experience in the Trade Finance space. Prior to joining CDC Admir was co-founder and CEO of AGC a global impact investment manager, specializing in SME related receivables, as an asset class, with the aim of driving economic growth and development in emerging markets. Admir is also a mentor at Rise, a Barclays accelerator, in London.

Ingi Jonasson
COO, Aptic

As two of Scandinavia’s leading software providers for the financial industry, Aptic and Asitis, merged this October, Ingi Jonasson, former CEO of Asitis, became the COO of the new Aptic. Ingi’s background includes a Masters degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Skövde, Sweden. He then became deputy head of the Department of Computer Science at the same university, where he had a central role in establishing and developing the study programmes in computer game development as well as the study programme in network and system administration. In 2005 he moved on to Asitis, where he started as a project manager and later became the CEO of the company. With 15 years of experience in the industry, he truly understands the business and what the clients need when it comes to smart and useful software solutions. Combined with strong leadership skills, Ingi is committed to making Aptic not only Scandinavia’s first choice of software vendor - but all of Europe’s.

Robert Koopman Dr Robert Koopman
Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Robert Koopman is Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research and Statistics Division at the World Trade Organization. In this post Bob provides the Secretariat and Member Countries with analysis and information that promotes a deeper understanding of trade and trade policy's role in economic growth and development. Prior to this, he served as the Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer for the United States International Trade Commission. Bob oversaw the Commission’s trade policy research and negotiation assistance to the President, the U.S. Trade Representative, and Congress; antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard; investigations; intellectual property investigations; maintenance and analysis of the Harmonized Tariff System, as well as the agency’s strategic planning and performance measurement initiatives. He previously served as Chief Economist at the USITC, and various leadership positions at the Economic Research Service of USDA. He is also currently a visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

Veronika Koroleva
Partner, gunnercooke llp

Veronika Koroleva is a partner at a challenger law firm gunnercooke llp. She has extensive experience in a wide range of structured commodity finance transactions, trade finance, receivables finance and supply chain finance. Veronika has previously led trade and commodity finance practice at the world’s largest law firm and was recognised as a leading practitioner in trade and commodity finance and in emerging markets finance by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

Merisa Lee Gimpel
Managing Director, Head of Innovation & Trade Transformation, Working Capital, Client Products, Lloyds Bank

Merisa Lee Gimpel is responsible for trade solution development, innovation and customer journey at Lloyds Bank. She has over 14 years of experience in commercial banking, with a focus on product development and improving customer journeys in trade finance and cash management. She runs a portfolio of customer-centric core, incremental and transformational projects, in collaboration with a network of strategic partners, which includes fintechs, banks, consortia and importantly customers. Merisa and her team engage customers along the entire solution development cycle, from understanding their biggest pain points (jobs to be done) through to designing and implementing solutions and ensuring these stay relevant through continuous feedback. She sits on the ITFA Fintech Committee, the ICC UK Banking Committee representing the Sustainable Trade Finance Working Group and the BAFT Innovation Council. Prior to joining Lloyds Bank in 2018, Merisa was most recently Product Head of Supply Chain Finance at Citi for the European, Middle East and African region. Merisa holds certificates in International Treasury Management and International Cash Management from the ACT, as well as a BSc. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Doug Lippoldt
Chief Trade Economist, HSBC Global Research

Doug Lippoldt is Chief Trade Economist in HSBC Global Research, based in London. He joined HSBC in August 2014 coming from the OECD in Paris where he worked for 22 years in various roles as a senior economist. Prior to that, he served seven years as an international economist with the US Department of Labor in Washington, DC. Doug's central focus is on international trade issues. He has published extensively on trade topics as well as related aspects of economic development, labour market adjustment, innovation and intellectual property. Doug holds a PhD in Economics from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), an MA in International Studies from the University of Denver, and a BA in International Studies from Washington College in Maryland, USA. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne, Germany. He represents HSBC as the deputy delegate on the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce.

Nick Lyrakis Nick Lyrakis
Disruptive Technology Hub Manager, Neurosoft

Nick Lyrakis is a Disruptive Technology Hub Manager at Neurosoft, Greece who creates solutions in blockchain which are changing the way of doing things in multiple sectors specially in the bank/financial sector as well as in others. Neurosoft belongs to a very small group of companies that has early adopted blockchain and has already implemented solutions for receivables (reconciliation, dynamic discounting etc). Nick is a senior software engineer with expertise in full stack development for 10 years also contributing in all facets of software development life cycle. From analysis and design, to implementation and maintenance, he is a blockchain enthusiast, with hands-on experience for over 2 years. He helps companies with adoption of blockchain technology in order to streamline various processes. Nick holds a BSc from Athens University of Economics and Business (Informatics).

Mark Mandula
Chief Learning Officer, BCR Publishing; Senior Vice President, United Capital Funding

Mark is an internationally recognised factoring expert, speaker, author, serial entrepreneur, and servant leader. He is Senior Vice President of United Capital Funding, a Tampa Bay, Florida B2B and B2G SME commercial finance professional services firm. He was Principal/ Managing Partner from 2000 to 2017 when the firm was acquired and has also served in a National Sales Director capacity. Since formation, United Capital has grown eighty times in annual employed capital to B2B and B2G SMEs and is projected to exceed US$1bn in NFE in 2022. Mark has also become an equity owner of BCR Publishing and will serve as Chief Learning Officer. In this new role, he will lead the expansion of programmes and ‘best of breed’ events for BCR Publishing on a global basis. He believes that “power in knowledge, but only when shared.” Effective 1 January, 2024, Mark is serving in a new role at United Capital “of counsel” and anticipates investing his time speaking and teaching SMEs and others globally on the power of factoring and other topics of current interest. Prior to joining United Capital in 2000, he was principal and shareholder in an investment banking firm that completed over 200 bank industry mergers and acquisitions over more than 20 years. Following that, he was owner and CEO of a leading credit industry business and was nominated as an Entrepreneur of the Year. He holds an MBA and BBA in Finance and is a 2012 graduate of the Certificate in Private Capital Markets from the Graziadio Graduate School of Business at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Mark has been actively involved in multiple non-profit boards, including Eckerd College, Tampa Bay Research Institute, and others. He is a regular international speaker and has participated in over 250 international conferences and has had more than 1,200 articles published online and in ABA Banking Journal, Mergers & Acquisitions, BCR Publishing, FCI and other commercial finance global industry publications both online and in hard copy. Mark has also contributed to several editions of the World Factoring Yearbook, published by FCI and BCR on a global basis.

Megan Marshall Megan Marshall
Global Sales Leader for the Credit Specialties Practice, Marsh JLT Specialty

Megan is the Global Sales Leader for the Credit Specialties Practice at Marsh JLT Specialty responsible for driving sales strategy and growth via traditional and digital distribution channels across the Surety, Political Risk/Structured Credit and Trade Credit business lines. During her 15 year career at Marsh, she has held a number of leadership positions in sales management, poperations and client development, creating and managing programmes designed to achieve organic revenue growth, cost efficiency, and change management goals. Prior to joining Marsh, Megan served as the Chief of Staff to the US Mission to the EU in Brussels, Belgium where she worked primarily on trade and financial industry issues. Megan holds a BA from Hamilton College; an MA from Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and John Hopkins University; and a master of management from J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

Martin McCann
CEO and Co-Founder, Trade Ledger

Martin McCann is CEO and Co-Founder of Trade Ledger (www.tradeledger.io), the world’s first open digital banking platform that gives banks the ability to assess business lending risk in real time. Martin has over 20 years’ experience as a passionate technologist, business leader, investor, academic researcher, and public speaker specialised in the digitisation of business.

Robert Meters
Director, SCHUMANN International

Robert Meters is Director Global Business at SCHUMANN and Director at SCHUMANN International Limited in London. He studied Business Administration and International Management at the University for Economics and Management. He has been in the credit risk management industry since 1993 and has worked for leading information service providers as well as in the telecommunications industry. At SCHUMANN, he advises and takes care of customers in the automation of credit decisions and the implementation of a fully integrated credit management workflow system that also supports onboarding and ESG KYBP processes. SCHUMANN offers the leading credit risk management solution for the financial services sector covering leasing, factoring, banking and trade credit insurance.

Yoana Miltenova Yoana Miltenova
Business and Application Expert, CODIX

Yoana Miltenova is a business expert with CODIX, with a special focus on the commercial finance and software industry. CODIX is a French commercial finance software company which has developed iMX – the event-driven enterprise management system supporting all product flavors (Traditional factoring, Reverse, SCF, SIF and etc.) With a staff of 700+ business and technical experts located in 10 locations/countries, CODIX delivers its iMX solution to clients worldwide. Yoana has focused her career in the world of finance, starting with a degree in international finance and trade from the University of Portsmouth, followed by practical experience in the banking sector and currently with a lead role as business expert at CODIX.

Eric Monchu Intong Eric Monchu Intong
Senior Manager, Trade Finance, Sovereigns Financial Institutions & Corporates, Afreximbank.

Eric is a corporate and investment banker with over 15 years’ experience in Trade Finance, corporate banking and risk management. He joined Afreximbank in March 2014 and is responsible for sovereigns, financial institutions and corporates across Africa, in the Trade Finance department. Before assuming the current position, Eric was Core Banking Implementation Programme Lead, Regional Manager for Anglophone West Africa and Manager, Structured Trade Finance for West Africa. Prior to joining Afreximbank, he was Vice President, Deputy Corporate Banking Head and Business Credit Officer for Citibank Cameroon. responsible for global clients and local corporates’ relationship management in Central and West Africa. Prior to joining Citibank, Eric held various senior positions at Union Bank of Cameroon including Corporate Bank Head, Treasury and Risk Management Head, Branch Manager and Anti-Money Laundering Reporting Head. Eric holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting and a Post Graduate Diploma in Risk and Logistics Management both from Rotterdam Business School, The Netherlands; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and Finance from the University of Buea, Cameroon.

Peter Mulroy
Secretary-General, FCI

Peter Mulroy is Secretary General of FCI, the world’s largest network of factoring companies, with its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Peter was previously Senior Vice President, International Regional Manager and Managing Director with CIT. He is a past Chairman of FCI, and has served on the FCI Executive Committee for over a decade. Peter has an MBA from Thunderbird, School of Global Management in Arizona. As Secretary General, Peter assists banks, regulators and governments in introducing the concept of and educating people about the role of factoring. He addresses audiences around the world on the subject of factoring and international trade and is generally regarded as an ambassador for the factoring industry.

Martin Opfermann
CFA, Director, Lead Portfolio Manager Trade Finance, Allianz Global Investors

Martin Opfermann is a senior Portfolio Manager within the Alternative Asset Management team at Allianz Global Investors and is leading the firm’s trade finance activities. Martin joined the firm in 2017 from Allianz Investment Management SE, where he was Head of Credit and in charge of Allianz Group’s credit allocation. In 2009, he spearheaded Allianz’s strategic shift into private markets and executed several debt investment strategies. Prior to that, Martin worked in the Fixed Income team of Allianz Lebensversicherungs-AG. Martin graduated from University of Mannheim as a Diplom-Kaufmann in 2002. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Oliver Oram Oliver Oram
CEO and Founder, Chainvine

Oliver Oram is CEO and Founder of Chainvine, a Blockchain/DLT a next-generation enterprise platform for the private and public sectors. Oliver and his team have created a platform that increases productivity and transparency in the supply/value chain and helps organisations connect SDGs with the issuance of bonds and ESGs areas of growing importance. Oliver is also a technology advisor to the Common Wealth Central Bank governors, helping them to better understand the implications of Blockchain and cryptocurrency and worked for some years in the financial technology sector. Oliver has a strong interest in developing current and future decentralised technology, especially in the areas of property rights governance.

Alexander Plekhanov Alexander Plekhanov
Director, Transition Impact and Global Economics, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Alexander Plekhanov is Director, Transition Impact and Global Economics, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. His main responsibilities include editorship of the Transition Report and the Regional Economic Prospects as well as analysis of trade policy and development impact of EBRD projects. Previously Alexander covered economic developments in a number of countries in the region, including Russia, Belarus, Mongolia and Central Asia. Alexander joined the bank in October 2007. Prior to that, he worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. Alexander holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

Gerhard Prenner Gerhard Prenner
Member of the Managing Board, Raiffeisen Factor Bank AG

Gerhard Prenner started his career in factoring in 1982 with the leading factoring bank in Austria, Intermarket Bank AG. In the 90s he worked with Intermarket Bank AG (ERSTE Group) on the expansion into CEE countries where he was responsible for starting up the business in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland, holding managerial and supervisor positions. From 2000 to 2007 he was also a board member of Intermarket Bank AG. In 2007 he was responsible for starting up Raiffeisen Factor Bank AG and serves as Chairman of the Management Board, now the number two bank in the Austrian factoring market. He was also Board Member and the Chairman of IFG (International Factors Group).

Dr Gustavo Rodríguez De Lira Dr Gustavo Rodríguez De Lira
CEO, IT Capital

Gustavo founded IT Capital, a Trade Finance company working with SMEs across the Mexico – US border in 2011. IT Capital has worked across the oil, automotive, aerospace, electronic and renewable energy supply chain, receivables financing, invoice discounting, asset based lending and leasing sectors. He began his career at Santander Bank in 2005 as a Head of Advisory Services and Product Manager for over 100 non-banking and alternate financial institutions. He worked across the Mexico – US border from 2007-2010 with American companies to introduce financial products, technology and services into Mexico and LATAM from Miami, Los Angeles and New York. Gustavo holds a Finance Masters’ Degree from the University Marista de México as Risk Analyst, an Anti-Money Laundering Certificate from Mexican Authorities 2016-2019 (CNBV), LATAM Agribusiness Administration (FIRA) 2012-2016 and Credit Risk Management (CNBV) 2012-2020. Gustavo currently volunteers for the SER YO Foundation (www.fundacionseryo.com) in collaboration with the Association of Community Aid Foundations in Mexico. He also works on a special programme of the Grameen Bank of India for the inclusion of single mothers, who are victims of family violence, and families in poverty, to the financial sector in Mexico.

Dr. Gabriele Sabato
CEO and Co-Founder, Wiserfunding

Gabriele is an experienced risk management professional who has worked for several financial institutions and consultant companies across the world in the last 18 years. Before founding Wiserfunding together with Professor Altman, he was Head of Risk Appetite Portfolio Decisioning for the Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest. Prior to this role, Gabriele was Head of Credit Risk Portfolio Management for Ulster Bank and Global Head of Credit Risk Analytics for ABN AMRO. In his roles, Gabriele was responsible for ICAAP, stress testing, risk models, portfolio management and risk appetite. He has provided support and oversight in risk management to banks and subsidiaries in Asia, North and South America and Europe. He started his career working for Experian in Italy and Eastern Europe helping banks in enhancing their consumer and SME risk management capabilities and capital optimisation. Gabriele holds an M.Sc. and a PhD. in Finance from La Sapienza University in Rome. He was a visiting Scholar at the Stern School of Business of the New York University under the supervision of Professor Altman with whom has published several academic papers on risk management and SME lending in top ranking academic journals, including the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Financial Services Research and the ABACUS.

Brian Shanahan
Founder, Informita

Brian Shanahan is the leader and founder of Informita and has been assisting multinationals across the globe in the areas of working capital and procurement for the past 25 years. Brian has worked with more than two hundred and fifty clients in 38 countries across 4 continents. Brian is also the founder of TermsCheck.com, a service that allows you to compare customer and supplier payment terms with other companies’ actual terms. In the media, Brian has been quoted many times in the financial press and is the author of five booklets that can be purchased at Amazon.com including The Working Capital Handbook and working Capital: In Pursuit of Zero. You will also hear Brian on the Working Capitalists Podcast available on Apple and Spotify.

Dror Shapira Dror Shapira
CEO & Co-Founder, INVIOU

Dror is a financing and risk expert and the co-founder and CEO of INVIOU. INVIOU is a financial records and charges registry based on distributed ledger technology (Hyperledger Fabric). It is disrupting the SME financing industry by enabling financial institutions to provide instant, competitive safe and simple receivables financing to SMEs. Using the using INVIOU’s registry to verify invoice ownership and availability for financing, it greatly diminishes the costs associated with the fraud and friction which results from faulty, inflated, fictitious and double invoicing. Formerly, Dror served as Head of Finance at Shlomo Holdings Ltd leading billions of NIS capital issuing and cash flow management. He has over 15 years of extensive experience in the banking systems, rating agencies and risk management.

Lorna Strong
Lead global counsel for HSBC Global Trade and Receivables Finance (GTRF)

Lorna Strong, is lead global counsel for HSBC Global Trade and Receivables Finance (GTRF), a business that annually facilitates over USD740 billion of trade with access to 90% of all global trade flows. She provides legal advice and risk management to the business and senior executives; playing a lead role in shaping HBSC's contribution to current regulatory and policy debates on trade finance. As Deputy General Counsel, she manages HSBC legal counsel in over 50 jurisdictions, advising on areas as diverse as digital transformation and electronic commerce, blockchain technologies, international disputes, economic sanctions, and ESG financing. As an adjunct to her practice, she presents and participates in industry and academic forums, including as a member of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), Legal Committee.

Lionel Taylor
Managing Director, Trade Advisory Network

Lionel Taylor is a trade, supply chain and invoice finance specialist with more than 30 years experience in senior leadership roles with major financial institutions including RBS, Rabobank, Citibank and Lloyds Banking Group and with non-bank independents.

Now Managing Director of Trade Advisory Network Limited, which specialises in the strategic development of global supply chains, trade and invoice finance with a client base of regional banks, independent finance providers, fintechs and technology providers, his key areas of expertise include new business strategy, turnaround, organisation design, new product design, product management, marketing, origination, credit, team building and training.

He has extensive experience of operating in Asia where he led the cooperation on trade and supply chain finance between RBS and Bank of China, established an independent finance company facilitating trade between Asian and Western SMEs and assisted in the development of the Chinese factoring industry. Today, he continues his close involvement in the region, working with government agencies, banks, independent funders, investors and others who are looking to promote and extend trade and supply chain finance in the region.

He currently is a Non-Executive Director of a growing UK-based fintech, sits as the independent credit committee member for another non-bank finance provider and is also co-author of the ICC Academy’s Advanced Supply Chain Finance online course, a core module of their CTCP programme.

He continues to be engaged in advising a number of financial institutions, fintechs and technology providers on the development of their trade and supply chain finance businesses and is frequently invited to comment and write for specialist international trade publications as well as chairing and speaking at international events.

Alecsandra Valasuteanu
Head of Factoring, UniCredit Bank Romania

Alecsandra is currently at UniCredit Bank Romania, a member of UniCredit, a leading European bank, and one of the leading providers of factoring, forfeiting and supply chain financing solutions in Romania, holding a market share of 20%. With more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, Alecsandra started in UniCredit Leasing Romania as Senior Relationship Manager, part of the Equipment and Project Financing Division.

Luis Vilas Luis Vilas
Former CIO, Santander Factoring and Confirming

Luis joined Santander Group 20 years ago, to lead financial solutions projects for SMEs and Corporates in relation to factoring, reverse factoring and other supply chain finance products, through “antander Factoring y Confirming, EFC. the Group´s subsidiary specialising in this area of activity. Santander Factoring y Confirming, EFC has been a pioneer and leader in the Spanish market, participating in all relevant EDI initiatives prominently. Among all the projects in which he has been active, some have special significance, as they meant the provision of EDI solutions to large corporations and to the relevant networks of international factors (namely, Factors Chain International and International Factors Group), such as Edifactoring Project and IFDEX Project, whose main objectives were to standardise the communications between members of these groups and to promote the usage of EDI among their clients.

Matt Wreford
CEO, Demica

Matt joined Demica as CEO in November 2014 and has led the expansion of the firm from 12 to 300 people funded by $100m of growth capital. His primary responsibilities are setting the firm’s strategy and product vision and building strategic relationships with their global banking partners to deliver long-term growth. Prior to joining Demica, Matt was the Group CEO of IPGL, the private holding company of Michael Spencer, founder and CEO of ICAP Plc, as well as CEO of Exotix Partners LLP, the investment banking boutique specialising in illiquid bonds and loans, equities, and structured finance. Matt has served as a non-executive director of numerous other fintech and financial services companies, including City Index, Origin Asset Management and Ri3K.


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Discover the best of Mayfair at London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square with its unparalleled central location minutes away from world-class shopping, Hyde Park and iconic landmarks. Stay at the first Marriott hotel in London, delivering sincere and personalized service. Unwind in impeccably furnished rooms and suites featuring marble bathrooms and modern technology, overlooking Grosvenor Square or the hotel's intimate garden. Visit Gordon Ramsay's maze restaurant or sip a cocktail at our award-winning speakeasy, The Luggage Room, Mayfair’s best-kept secret. Take advantage of our 13 meeting spaces, including the renovated Westminster Ballroom, that combine a heritage of Mayfair service with a contemporary edge. Have a memorable experience at London’s most desirable address at London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.


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