Three musketeers of structured commodity trade finance reflect on how trade gets paid

Three “musketeers” of commodity and structured commodity finance who could count more than a century’s experience between them stepped up into the studio and agreed that trade gets paid if you play the structuring cards right.

Listen to Deutsche Bank’s Vice Chairman of Trade Finance Commodities John (Mac) MacNamara, who is joined by Sullivan & Worcester partner, Geoff Wynne, and former HSBC guru turned consultant, Jean-François Lambert.

Where did their passion for structured commodity finance all start? For Mac it was when worked for a commodity trader in 1983. Russian trolley buses going to Bogata, Colombia paid for in Colombian coffee and financed Islamically was his lightbulb moment.  For Lambert it was financing African cotton and helping local farmers improve their livelihood. Wynne outlines a happy accident – “I would structure a transaction – and we are going back 30 years ago that had some security and structure around it and someone said ‘that is structured trade finance’, so I never looked back.”

The team reflect on some of their hairiest moments and go on to tell Trade Finance TV that while the modern academic and model-placed approach for managing risk has its place, this must not replace the time-honoured methodology of going on site and actually inspecting the commodities.

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