tradeXplain

ITFA: Nurturing the next generation of trade financiers

Sean Edwards is Head of Legal and Special Adviser to the Trade Finance Department at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe. Since 2015 he has also been the Chairman of the International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA), which represents the interests of banks, financial institutions, insurers and service providers involved in trade risk and asset origination and distribution.

In this interview he talks about ITFA’s evolution and its Emerging Leaders programme, and why he believes that a career in trade finance is a lot more creative than it used to be.

Big Tech: How Google tackles trade

You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone as enthusiastic about trade as Cristhian Rodriguez, Google’s Global Trade Automation Lead and EMEA Head of Trade Compliance.

His role is to ensure that the tech giant’s cutting-edge products are distributed to consumers without any hassles and through the use of optimal procedures and technologies. It’s a task that he carries out with great passion, proving that a job in compliance can, in fact, be anything but boring.

Trade Finance: An overview of the basics

“Trade finance is fun, it’s exciting, and, most importantly, it’s real. That’s the message to anyone who’s thinking about making this their profession.”

With a career in trade finance dating back to the late 1980s, Geoff Wynne, partner at law firm Sullivan in London, seemed a credible source to outline what trade finance is, how it works, and why its wide range of products and processes make it a rewarding and enjoyable industry to work in.