ITFA – Introducing the Speakers in Barcelona – Christian Karam

Another week, another exciting speaker.

Indeed our annual conference is getting closer and we hope that you have registered and booked your flights, if not please do so without further delays. Our board members are indeed busy throughout the summer to deliver yet another conference which will hopefully meet your expectations. Rethinking the ITFA will be one of the highlights this year together with the initiatives that we want to take for our association. We will talk more about this in Barcelona.

In Barcelona Christian will be addressing the trade finance needs in Africa and how this is being met under current market conditions. During his session, he will also discuss how non-traditional trade financiers are showing growing appetite towards Africa and how banks are coping with such new alternative financing sources. We hear of more and more banks and other trade financiers who want to do deals with Africa, but what are the business opportunities in this region? and what are the challenges? Africa remains one of the markets that remains popular also for forfaiters as there is limited access to this market.

Christian Karam, now partner at Africa Trade Finance company (“ATF”) started his career at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe in London in 2004, in the International Finance Department. He later moved to the Trade Finance Department where he set up the Africa Desk. Christian’s lateral thinking and ability to anticipate industry dynamics led to the developments of several initiatives, one of which is combining both the origination and distribution activities within the Africa Desk. A desk providing bespoke trade finance solutions for clients across several African Markets, which turned it into one of the most profitable businesses of the bank, with multi-million dollars in profits annually. It does not come as a surprise that some of the transactions Christian worked on were awarded best deal prizes. He has been a key speaker at several trade conferences in Africa and elsewhere.

In January 2014, Christian moved on to set up the ATF. Based in London, ATF focuses on the origination of African trade transactions, with a target to accompany new and non-traditional financiers such as funds and alternative lenders, in financing trade into Africa. Christian gained his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in finance from SKema Business School in France, where he was appointed as the Chairman of the Foreign Student Council.

Christian we look forward to your presentation and to welcoming you in Barcelona.

The ITFA conference will be held this year in Barcelona between the 10th to the 12th September 2014. To ensure your name is included on the Delegate list, please register with no further delay. To review the programme, find out more information and to register online, please click here:

For any queries please send an email to We look forward to seeing you all soon.

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