Accessing trade finance expertise

Pouya Jafari, is an Associate at Channel Capital Advisers, and ITFA Emerging Leader and on his LinkedIn profile describes himself as “a curious and driven professional with a deep interest in global trade, investment management, and geopolitics”.

He joins us on Trade Finance TV to share his journey as a young professional.  While on a summer internship at American International Insurance Group (AIG) one rotation took him into the trade credit team, which, he said “seemed to tick all the boxes in terms of being close to trade”. It was here that he happened to meet Duarte Pereira (now Head of Trade Finance at Crown Agents Bank) and this was how he was introduced to the International Trade & Forfaiting Association and its Emerging Leaders Initiative.

Jafari set about trying to find out more about trade finance but quickly found there was not much up online apart from complex legal documents and short Wikipedia articles. “I went to the ITFA to see if they would help me launch this blog where I invited experts to explain their fields and focus on young professionals.”

His blog can be found at and features experts such as Jean-Francois Lambert on commodities and Andre Casterman on fintechs and trade digitalisation.

Transcript of interview:

Clarissa Dann Welcome to Trade Finance TV. I’m Clarissa Dann. And joining me here in the studio today is Pouya Jafari of Channel Capital Advisors, who is also an ITFA emerging leader.

Pouya, welcome to Trade Finance TV.

Pouya Jafari Thank you very much.

Clarissa Dann It’s good to have you here. Now, you’ve been an intern and you chose trade finance, can you tell us why?

Pouya Jafari Yeah. So I love trade. I think, you know, on the one hand, you need to understand trade and to understand it, you need to understand politics, economics, finance, law, geography, logistics. And if you want to work in trade finance, you also need to be a good negotiator and a business person. So I really wanted to find a way to get into this field. The issue is that I didn’t know what was out there. On the one hand, I had this vague idea of, you know, policymakers working and trade policy, that’s one area. But obviously there are many companies that do trade, so what kind of jobs can I get in a company?

Clarissa Dann And how did you get your first job?

Pouya Jafari I applied to basically any company I had heard of and anything I could find on the website. And the most interesting one seemed to be in the trade credit team at AIG, a large insurance company, and it seemed to tick all the boxes in terms of being close to trade.

Clarissa Dann That’s fantastic. And how did you get involved with the International Trade and Forfaiting Association and their emerging leaders program?

Pouya Jafari AIG had a couple of different teams and I got to try all of them as part of my internship. And one of the teams was the trade finance team. And at the time, I was working with a good friend of mine, Duarte Pedreira, and I asked to go for a lunch with him and just pick his brain on these things. And he told me that the International Trade and Forfaiting Association, ITFA, had this program for young professionals, so I should sign up and that’s how I got into it.

Clarissa Dann I’ve been hearing all about a rather special trade finance blog. So Pouya, can you tell us a bit more about why you started that?

Pouya Jafari Yeah, absolutely. So I realized trade finance is an area I’m interested in. I want to learn more about this field, but the problem is that there weren’t many resources to utilize. So on the one hand, you had very complex legal documents. On the other hand, you had very short Wikipedia-style articles that weren’t very helpful. So I decided to do it myself. And and I went to ITFA and I asked if they would help me launch this this blog, where I would ask an expert to explain their fields and make it engaging and really focus it on young professionals.

Clarissa Dann And it’s called Trade Explain, isn’t it?

Pouya Jafari Yeah, TRADEXPLAIN.COM.

Clarissa Dann And it’s going rather well. I’ve heard it’s got quite a lot of traffic now.

Pouya Jafari Yeah, the feedback has been really good. It seems like people have been looking for something like this and it’s really helpful to more senior people as well who want to understand maybe a different area of trade finance that they didn’t have a lot of expertize in.

Clarissa Dann Well done, Pouya. Thank you very much for coming in and telling us about it.

Pouya Jafari Thanks for having me.

Clarissa Dann I would like to thank our guest, Pouya Jafari for appearing today and of course, all of you for watching. For other reports, do visit TRADEFINANCETV.NET, and don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn. For further insights, have a look at DB.COM/FLOW.

Published on December 9, 2019

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