Choosing a trade finance career

Now Head of Trade Finance at Crown Agents’ Bank, Duarte Pedreira launched what was then the Young Professionals’ Initiative at the International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA) three years ago in 2016.

This has grown into ITFA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative, chaired by Pedreira, who had come into the trade finance profession “by accident” having had a capital markets background. “What I want to create is a more structured way in which people can choose trade finance as a career choice….it’s all about creating the conditions so people know what trade finance is all about and powerfully choose a career, says Pedreira.

There are other young professional programmes such as the ICC Next Generation Leaders , and the  BAFT’s  Future Leaders Program.  Another recent addition is the TXF Future of Export Finance platform. However, he explains the closest relationship is with the new Berne Union’s Young Professionals Initiative,

Pedreira (originally from Lisbon) explains how much he has learned from the diverse group of young professionals on the ITFA initiative who advise on how it should be run.  “I just execute”, he reflects.

Transcript of interview:

Clarissa Dann Welcome to Trade Finance TV. I’m Clarissa Dann, and joining me here in the studio today is Duarte Pedreira of the International Trade and Forfaiting Association and the Crown Agents Bank. He’s going to tell us more about the various trade finance young professional programs and what they’re doing to future proof trade.

Duarte, welcome to Trade Finance TV.

Duarte Pedreira Thank you very much indeed. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here.

Clarissa Dann I want to hear all about why you started the International Trade and Forfaiting Association Emerging Leaders program and the overall movement of supporting young people.

Duarte Pedreira To be honest with you, it’s a passion of mine. And it started with… I came into the industry a little bit by accident. I’ve always been in capital markets. My studies were in capital markets. But when I joined, I got this overwhelming sense of support. You know, I had the privilege of working with some stellar trade financiers such as Martin Ashers etc.. So people with a lot of history in the market and eventually, you know, these people were very experienced and they supported me throughout. And here I am nowadays as one of the ITFA board members.

So what I want to create with the Emerging Leaders Initiative is a more structured way in which people can choose Trade finance as a career choice rather than having that imposed on them. It’s all about empowerment. It’s all about knowledge sharing, and it’s all about creating the conditions so that people eventually know what trade finance is all about, and can powerfully choose a career.

Clarissa Dann What are the commonalities between your program and the BAFT and the ICC and the Berne Union programs?

Duarte Pedreira Oh, look, they’re all absolutely commendable. And I think the ITFA program complements all the other programs and vice versa, to be honest. Again, I think the common ground there is creating a structure that empowers young professionals. I’ll give you an example; at the ITFA we’re becoming closer and closer with all the associations, but one in particular, we’re becoming very close to the Berne Union, and the they are just starting their own young professionals program. And I’m lucky enough to have one of the Berne Union representatives, Aycan (Ertugrul) sitting on my emerging leaders committee, which then allows us to share knowledge and experience about how they can go about setting up their own young professionals. And I guess the common theme there is that It’s about giving young professionals a choice, that trade finance is the career that they want to have.

Clarissa Dann How much do you learn yourselves as older trade finance professionals from these young professionals, what sort of reverse mentoring is going on?

Duarte Pedreira Oh goodness, Clarissa, it’s endless. So my first initiative when I took the helm as the leader of the emerging leaders was to create a committee. I thought, look, I can just be sitting here. I always think that I’m younger than I really am, but I could be sitting here dictating the program to the young professionals, but my take on it was, ‘why don’t I get a group of diverse young professionals that really tell me what to do?’ So my role within ITFA is very simple. They tell me what to do and I execute it.

Clarissa Dann I’ve kinda been saying that, actually, it’s great.

Duarte, thank you so much for coming. It’s all very exciting.

Duarte Pedreira No, Clarissa, thank you for having me here. It’s an absolute pleasure, and count me in for any future initiatives.

Clarissa Dann I’d like to thank our guest Duarte Pedreira, 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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