Announcing the ITFA Conference speakers in Cape Town

The ITFA Board is excited to welcome you at the ITFA Conference in Cape Town. With only a few weeks to go, the excitement is mounting and we are all looking forward to a very fruitful few days, in what will be our very first ITFA Conference taking place in Africa.

To mark the ITFA “Year of Africa”, we are including an Africa focused panel, which will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday 5th September, and which will be hosted by the ITFA Africa Regional Committee. Moderated by Afreximbank, the panel will draw on the experience of a diverse panel, representing different types of players in the African trade finance space: Louis du Plessis from RMB will represent the Regional African-focused bank whilst Henry Saamoi, the CEO for International Bank Liberia will tell us how the African trade finance space looks like for a bank doing business in a more challenging jurisdiction; they will be joined by Ian Henderson from Gulf International Bank (UK) and Kate Muir-Jones from JLT, who will complement the bankers’ views and open the solutions toolbox by highlighting how the alternative financiers market and the insurance market can present themselves as critical avenues to unlocking trade finance value in the continent.

The topics covered during the discussion will be diverse and aim to highlight relevant issues, challenges and opportunities for trade finance in Africa:

Louis du Plessis currently works in the Trade and Working Capital area of Rand Merchant Bank which is the Corporate and Investment Banking division of FirstRand Bank Limited. He heads a team responsible for trade finance and lending to Bank and Non-Bank Financial Institutions, Escrow solutions, Risk Distribution and Syndication as well as Credit Insurance. He has previously worked for Nedbank and Standard Chartered Bank in SA and has been directly involved in working capital and trade finance structuring for the past eleven years across various disciplines covering corporates as well as banks. He holds an Accounting Sciences Honours Degree and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Henry has served IB, formerly ITC since 1999, in a variety of financial, sales and management positions. He initially started as an intern, and became a senior financial analyst in 2000. In 2002, Henry was appointed Vice President & Head of the Financial Analysis Section. In March 2003, he was appointed Vice President & Manager of the Accounting Department. In June 2003, he served as the Acting Deputy General Manager and Comptroller, and in September 2003, was appointed Senior Vice President & Comptroller. In April 2007, Henry was appointed General Manager in charge of Finance and Administration and 2008, he was appointed General Manager responsible for Banking Operations, Finance and Administration. In January 2012, Henry was appointed Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors of International Bank (Liberia) Limited.

Henry holds a diploma in Banking (MBA Equivalent) from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, an MBA degree in Finance from the Cuttington University Graduate School and has a BBA degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Accounting, with minor in Economics from the University of Liberia. Henry graduated from high school in 1988 from the Voinjama Free Pentecostal Mission in Voinjama, Lofa County, graduating at the top of his class as valedictorian and one of the ten best performers in the West Africa Examination Council exams.

Ian’s banking career spans 30 years gained through on-the-ground experience in the Americas, Africa, CEE and Asia. Ian joined GIB (UK) in 2016 as a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Trade Finance Asset Management team. He currently manages a global diversified conventional trade finance fund and segregated mandates. Prior to that, as a senior banker and corporate financier, Ian has been involved in all aspects of trade finance for over 21 years covering origination, structured trade & finance, syndication, portfolio management, asset valuation and asset recovery/restructuring. He has experience in all commodity groups ranging from oil & gas, metals & mining, to agriculture, and previous roles have given him practical exposure to supply chain finance, physical commodity trading and political & credit risk insurance products. Ian has held positions as MD, Director, General Manager and consultant at Standard Bank of SA Ltd, Standard Bank London, Banque Belgolaise, WestLB AG, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Texel Capital, MRI Trading AG and Gunvor Group.

Ian holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Economics from University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and holds the Islamic Finance Qualification.

Kate joined JLT in 2010 having previously worked at a smaller Lloyd’s broking house. Since then, Kate has worked for a variety of different clients ranging from commodity traders to banks, exporters, mining and oil and gas companies. In the last few years Kate focused on Latin American business and was seconded to Sao Paulo before returning to London as regional coordinator for JLT’s credit, political and security risk Sub Saharan African business.

We look forward to welcoming you all in Cape Town!

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