2021 ITFA Emerging Trade Financier Award

It is that time of the year again and the 2021 edition of the ITFA Emerging Leader competition is now on! This has quickly become the “Oscars” of trade finance and we were delighted with how incredibly successful the first two editions were.

The main goal of this initiative is to allow Emerging Leaders in trade finance to showcase their ability to add value to the industry and we have certainly achieved that both in 2019 and 2020. The Hall of Fame currently stands as follows:

2019: Alero Arubi, Charlotte Prior and Nigel Atta-Mensah – “A Guide to Trade Finance”
2020: Didem Bayseferogullari – “ECA support for software exports in the era of Digitalization”

The big question now is who will join this list in 2021…

Competition Parameters:

Eligible Participants:

Emerging Leaders in Trade Finance. Who can be classified as an Emerging Leader? Students, existing trade finance professionals who genuinely feel that they fit the “Emerging” label and have less than 10 years’ experience in the industry, and professionals from other industries with no working experience in trade finance (regardless of number of years’ experience).


Deadline for submissions: Friday 20 August 2021
Shortlist announcement: Friday 10 September 2021
Presentation of the shortlisted projects and announcement of the winner: Thursday 7 October (during the ITFA Conference)

Judging Criteria:

The winning projects will make a significant contribution to the trade finance industry. This could for example be by way of contributing to an on-going industry debate, or by way of creating a new innovative product/instrument, by way of enhancing the knowledge shared about the industry (specific knowledge sharing forums and events), amongst others.

Project topics and advisors:

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in Trade Finance – Charlotte Prior, GIB AM
Supply Chain Finance – Michel Meylacq, SC Lowy
Trade Finance Gap – Duarte Pedreira, Crown Agents Bank
Covid Support and Trade Finance – Nigel Atta-Mensah, Crown Agents Bank
Technology and Trade Finance – Izabela Czepirska, Komgo
Other Trade Innovation – Pouya Jafari, SMBC

Project format:

At the candidate’s choice, ranging from the more traditional (article, paper) to the most innovative (videos, podcasts, social media).

Project form and project submissions:

By email to Duarte Pedreira – duarte.pedreira@crownagentsbank.com.

Please print your Project Submission Form here

Competition stages:

Stage 1 – candidates start the process by submitting a project form outlining their details and a short description of their proposed project; a project advisor is then assigned to the project in accordance with the project’s topic
Stage 2 – candidates prepare their submissions (from today until 20 August)
Stage 3 – judging (between 21 August and 10 September)
Stage 4 – announcement of the 3 shortlisted projects (10 September)
Stage 5 – live presentation of shortlisted projects to the ITFA Conference (7 October)
Stage 6 – voting on shortlisted projects by ITFA Conference delegates (7 October)
Stage 7 – announcement of the winner at the ITFA Conference Gala Dinner (7 October)

If (for logistic or pandemic control reasons) the shortlisted candidate(s) cannot make it to the conference for a live presentation of the project(s), ITFA will arrange for the presentations to be made via live video stream.

Competition Prizes:

The three shortlisted submissions will receive a free pass for the ITFA Conference taking place between 6 and 8 October. This free pass will include full conference participation as well as entry into all social events taking place during the conference, including the Gala Dinner.

The winner is awarded the 2021 ITFA Emerging Trade Financier Award and will have the winning project published by ITFA.

We truly look forward to this year’s competition surpassing the great successes of 2019 and 2020 so please do consider making a submission and also share this email with as many potential interested people as possible!  

May the best Emerging Trade Financier win!

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