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Welcome to issue 88 of Credit Insurance News Digest.  The industry newsletter devoted to the global trade credit insurance industry.
Index
Credit Insurance News
Berne Union members predict increasing global demand for trade credit insurance. A survey of members of the Berne Union's Short Term trade credit insurance committee has indicated a difficult but stable business environment. Although 37% of committee members recorded an increase in possible loss notifications in the last three months, 70% expressed a generally optimistic attitude towards the global economy for 2017. Members also reported that the market continues to have significant capacity which, combined with high competition between industry players, has resulted in a sustained soft market and low prices. Looking ahead, increasing corporate insolvencies, non-payment events and increasing uncertainty surrounding trade barriers could lead to a growing demand for credit insurance. Indeed, many members have indicated that business volumes for 2017 show signs of growth versus 2016 and, despite high claims, insurers continue to be comfortable with the risks they are taking on. To read Berne Union's news release go to http://www.berneunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Press-Release-Berne-Union-CPH-SM.pdf.
Tough trade credit insurance market but green shoots appearing. Insurance Business Australia has published an article in which Chris Little, ANZ Commercial Director of Coface, reports that although the trade credit market has faced a tough year, it is starting to show some "green shoots” of improvement. Mr. Little noted that last year was highlighted by several high-profile insolvencies - from electronics retailer Dick Smith to mining firm Arrium Steel - which helped spur the product. However, although insolvencies are still an issue across industries, interest in the market has diminished recently due to a lack of attention-grabbing headlines. That said, the credit insurance market is now beginning to show signs of improvement and Mr. Little is hopeful: “Seeing the proposals that we have seen coming in the doors since May, I predict the second half of the year will be a lot stronger than the first.” To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/au/news/breaking-news/tough-trade-credit-insurance-market-but-green-shoots-appearing-69656.aspx.
Sompo Canopius announces the formation of a new Trade Credit Insurance team. Sompo Canopius has announced that it has formed a new Trade Credit Insurance team (with a number of new hires - see 'New Appointments' below). The new team, led by well-known industry veteran Will Clark, will be focused on establishing a new book of excess of loss short term trade credit business, forming part of a global market of some US$9 billion of trade credit insurance premium. Bernie de Haldevang explained: "With only a few people writing this kind of trade credit business in London in a meaningful way, we believe that our offering will be immensely valuable to new and existing clients, providing sophisticated insurance buyers a tailored and high service level approach and giving them the backing and certainty that they need in difficult global market conditions.” To read Sompo Canopius' news release go to http://www.sompocanopius.com/bin/pdf/original_pdf_file/2017_sompo_canopius_builds_trade_credit_team_final(06_06_2017).pdf.
Payment Practices Barometer finds that economic prospects across Eastern Europe are improving. Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer for Eastern Europe 2017 has found that although - with the exception of Turkey - economic prospects across Eastern Europe are improving, Eastern European companies expect an overall deterioration rather than an improvement in the payment behaviour of their B2B customers over the coming 12 months. Atradius found that companies in Hungary have the shortest invoice to cash turnaround (around 21 days), while respondents in Turkey take the longest (on average, 42 days). Atradius also found that despite a very modest increase in sales on credit terms this year (40.3%, up from 39.8% in 2016), respondents in Eastern Europe still seem to prefer selling on terms other than credit (59.7%). To read Atradius' news release with a link to the full report go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-easern-europe-2017.html.
Brexit: Despite several shocks, the UK will remain attractive for businesses. Coface has published a new report which suggests that, despite uncertainties caused by Brexit, UK businesses are showing resilience. In the last quarter of 2016, companies’ profits totalled over £105 billion pounds - an all-time high - and confidence rose significantly, especially amongst SMEs. In addition, Sterling's sharp drop - the most visible sign of Brexit so far - explained the strength of exports, even if the benefits of price competitiveness remain slight. However, looking ahead Coface also warns that the forthcoming negotiation phase will test the current buoyancy of businesses, and business profits are expected to show a gradual decline. Coface estimates that UK business failures could rise by 8.7% in 2017 and 8% in 2018. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report and an infographic go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Brexit-Despite-several-shocks-the-United-Kingdom-will-remain-attractive-for-businesses.
Strong competition between trade credit insurers keeps premiums low. The Berne Union has published its inaugural 'BUlletin' - its new monthly newsletter. This issue contains an article, 'The State of the Industry', which describes how the short-term trade credit insurance and political risk insurance market was able to expand its volume of business to almost US$1 trillion in 2016 – 8% higher than in 2015. The article also advises that premium levels in the private short-term market are at a relatively historic low - both for short term business and for medium/long term credit and investment business, and suggests that his is mainly due to competition between the world’s three largest providers: Euler Hermes, Atradius and Coface. To read this article go to http://www.berneunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BU-Newsletter-May17.pdf (page 2-4).
EH Sync broker portal launch. Following a successful Netherlands pilot program earlier this year, Euler Hermes has announced the rollout of its innovative new 'EH Sync' portal. Features include a mobile-ready, digital interface with "360°" policy data views and real-time customised alerts. Paul Overeem, Euler Hermes' Board member responsible for commercial and distribution activities, commented: “As its name confirms, EH Sync is a synchronization of Euler Hermes’ credit risk and analysis expertise and the personal engagement of brokers who directly helped drive the portal’s design and features from inception to delivery. Brokers told us they want easy access to accurate and globally consistent information - all in one place - that saves them time and provides enhanced portfolio monitoring." The first wave of the EH Sync broker portal launch will include the UK, Italy and Belgium with a further rollout in other countries in the coming months. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-EH-Sync-broker-portal-launch-supports-key-business-partners.aspx.
Trade credit insurers must embrace change. The Berne Union's newsletter contains an article in which Tinubu's Square's CEO and Founder, Jerome Peze, describes some of the global opportunities for trade credit insurers who are prepared to embrace change. Mr. Peze warns that trade credit insurers are finding themselves to be part of an extended, more rigorous ecosystem and it’s not always clear that they understand the position they occupy or – even more importantly – advantageous position they should be aiming for. This includes facing the challenges of disruptive technologies and innovations that will have an impact on their business (i.e., technology developments, changes in the supply chain, new payment and settlement solutions). Similarly, if credit insurers don’t want to fall behind, Mr. Peze stresses they will need to be more effective, not just in the way that they choose to communicate but in the speed with which they deliver information. To read this article go to http://www.berneunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BU-Newsletter-May17.pdf.
Euler Hermes launches advanced payment protection for UK business. Euler Hermes has warned that as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, protection against non-payment and non-fulfilment of contracts will become increasingly important due to greater supply chain volatility. The risk is particularly relevant for industries where advance payments are commonplace - such as the pharmaceutical and media sectors - and for businesses concerned about purchasing from new suppliers or those outside their core operations. As a result, Euler Hermes has announced that it has launched Advanced Payment Protection (APP), a new policy that is designed to reimburse businesses if pre-paid goods or services are not delivered and no refund is available, as well offering protection to agents paying a supplier on behalf of a third party. Cover is available for up to 12 months, and the new product is suitable for businesses of all sizes - regardless of customer type, market sector or whether a trade credit insurance policy is already in place. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-launches-advanced-payment-protection-for-UK-business.aspx.
Global Economic Outlook suggests that we should enjoy the first rays of sun . . . for the moment. Atradius' latest Economic Outlook suggests that global economic momentum, which began picking up in H2 of 2016, will push growth rates higher in 2017 and 2018 - to 2.9% and 3.0% respectively. However, policy uncertainty, especially from the US, could upset the benign outlook. The eurozone outlook is robust with 1.7% growth expected in 2017 -in line with the year before. The US economy is particularly strong with 2.1% growth forecast this year. UK economic growth is resilient at 1.7% compared to 1.8% in 2016 (but the expansion is slowly easing), while better policymaking and recovering commodity prices are pushing GDP growth in Latin America back into positive territory: 1.6%. Growth is also picking up (to 2.4%) in Eastern Europe, while Emerging Asia continues to enjoy the highest regional growth rate in the world of 5.7% in 2017. To read Atradius' Outlook go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/economic-outlook-may-2017.html.
Tinubu Square launches a new SaaS solution for trade credit insurers. Tinubu Square has announced the launch of a new version of Tinubu Credit Insurance Suite Core Edition, a SaaS solution designed to help emerging companies in the industry assess the credit risks presented by clients and help define their credit policy management. Tinubu Square advises that its new solution integrates all the necessary features to launch and/or immediately develop a credit insurance business. This includes assistance with adopting industry best practices while controlling investments and supporting new entrants, as well as advanced technology to enforce underwriting mechanisms and principles, provide audit trails and so on. In addition, the solution manages the entire life cycle of an insurer’s products, is scalable and customisable and has additional modules that can be activated at any time according to the needs of the credit insurer. To read Tinubu Square's news release go to https://www.tinubu.com/tinubu-square-launches-tinubu-credit-insurance-suite-core-edition/ (page 10-11).
Coface launches new customer portal and fully revamped CofaNet, its online credit insurance contract management tool. Coface has advised that enhancements to its customer portal include: enabling access to all of Coface's web interfaces, economic and strategic information tailored to the customer's business, product and tool document library, tutorials and FAQs - as well as easier, more targeted contacts with its commercial team. In addition, CofaNet has been redesigned to allow optimised use with mobile tools, and now includes a dynamic search engine and extensive menus. To read Coface's news release with a video explaining the evolution of Coface's solutions and the improvements to CofaNet go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-places-digital-transformation-at-the-heart-of-its-strategy-with-launch-of-new-customer-portal.
Uncertainty for exporters in European election year. Dynamic Export has published an article in which Atradius warns that Australian businesses who are looking to do business with partners in key European countries should be cautious as a result of changing economic and political conditions. Mark Hoppe, Managing Director of Atradius ANZ, cautioned that as 2017 is a major election year in Europe, the European political stage may change drastically over the course of the year. In addition: "With last month’s shock announcement of snap elections to be held in Britain on June 8th, even our oldest trading partner’s political future is less certain.” As a consequence, Mr. Hoppe suggests that “Australian organisations should protect themselves by extensively researching potential business partners and by taking out trade credit insurance. To read Dynamic Export's article go to http://www.dynamicexport.com.au/export-finance-and-insurance/articles-finance/Uncertainty-for-exporters-in-European-election-year/.
Sweden's SME exporters still favour payment up-front. The Berne Union's newsletter contains an article, 'Reaching out to Exporting SMEs', which examines the trade credit insurance market in Sweden. The article notes that although successful Swedish multinational companies such as Ericsson, Scania, Volvo and SAAB have used the Swedish Export Credit Agency's (EKN) guarantees for a long time to boost their competitiveness in international markets, Swedish SMEs utilise EKN's services to a much lower extent. In part, this is due to the more widespread business culture - much more prevalent among Swedish SMEs compared to many other European countries - of relying on advance payment and not insuring their customer's credit. For example, according to a survey that EKN carried out in 2015, only 20% of Swedish SMEs exporting to emerging markets offer customers credit and of these just 24% reported having used credit insurance (14% in 2014). To read this article go to http://www.berneunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BU-Newsletter-May17.pdf (page 5-7).
One year after Brexit, cracks are beginning to show in the UK economy. Atradius has published a report which cautions that the UK economy has been remarkably resilient since the vote to leave the EU, but one year on growth is being increasingly challenged. UK insolvencies have been rising since Q3 of 2016 and are forecast to increase 6% this year and 8% next year. Business failures are expected to be concentrated in consumer-facing sectors like retail and accommodation and those that depend on imported materials like construction. In addition, although the effect of Brexit on the rest of Europe has been limited so far, Atradius still forecast insolvencies in 2017-2018 to be higher in Europe than if there was no Brexit. This will be particularly true in those countries with close economic ties to the UK (Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium). To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/brexit-update-june-2017.html.
Euler Hermes launches 'Cover Lease' in the Nordics. According to Euler Hermes, expansion of the business-to-business leasing industry in the Nordics suggests it is becoming more common for businesses to lease rather than purchase equipment, potentially increasing the risk of late payment of lease instalments. As a result, Euler Hermes has launched a new policy in the Nordics, 'Cover Lease', to enable companies to receive regular payments even if their leasing partner has failed or is unable to pay future installments. Dominique Spiranski, CEO Euler Hermes Nordic Region, commented: “According to some of the leasing companies we talk to, as much as 18% of all industrial equipment is leased today and, in the future, more assets will be leased rather than owned. We can help clients assess the financial capability of buyers, new markets and sectors as these new markets develop.” To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-targets-growing-leasing-industry-Nordics.aspx.
UK insolvency statistics indicate a readjustment rather than economic resilience. Atradius' latest UK Country report notes that although the UK Insolvency Service recorded a 15% year-on-year growth in compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in 2016, this increase was primarily caused by changes to claimable expenses rules and the subsequent liquidation of nearly 1,800 personal service companies (PSC) in Q4. Excluding those PSCs, the increase was significantly lower - just 1% year-on-year. For that reason, Atradius' stresses that its prediction of a 7% decrease in UK insolvencies in 2017, should be taken in context; rather than representing economic resilience it indicates a statistical adjustment. In fact, Atradius adds, business insolvencies in certain industries are expected to increase due to on-going uncertainty surrounding Brexit. To read Atradius' report go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/country-report-united-kingdom-2017.html.
Please note that Country Reports are also available for the following: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland
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Major global retail bankruptcies soared by two-thirds in 2016. Euler Hermes' first major Digital Retail Survey has found that global retail sales have expanded at +4.8% per year over the last decade. However, fierce price wars have drained the financial resources of many traditional players, and many established retailers have failed to adapt to supply chain digitalisation and address the ever-growing “consumer experience” challenge. As a result, profitability declined globally to 5.7% in 2016 - down from 8% in 2011, and large retailers (turnover of US$10 million+) paid a hefty price with a soaring number of bankruptcies - up by 66% - in 2016. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-global-retail-disruption-pressure-potential-digital-age.aspx.
Nexus CIFS' publishes guidance for policyholders. Nexus CIFS has published three new short articles on its website to describe how changes to IPT, Insolvency rules and Late Payment of Claims legislation will impact its policyholders. 
  1. Latest Insurance Premium Tax Increase. Following the most recent increase last October, Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) in the UK has increased again (with effect from 1 June 2017) - from 10% to 12%. For details of the impact that this will have on trade credit insurance policyholders see -http://www.nexusunderwriting.com/trade-credit/news-and-comment/detail/latest-insurance-premium-tax-increase.
  2. New Insolvency Rules. The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 came into force in the UK on 6 April 2017. They represent the most significant legislative change since the Insolvency Act was introduced over 30 years ago in 1986 and consolidate the existing rules and their amendments into a single piece of legislation. To read Nexus CIFS' brief overview on how the changes will impact businesses in the UK go to http://www.nexusunderwriting.com/trade-credit/news-and-comment/detail/new-insolvency-rules.
  3. Late Payment of Claims Legislation. The Enterprise Act came into force on 4 May 2017 and gives policyholders a right to claim damages in the event of late payment of claims. For more information go to http://www.nexusunderwriting.com/trade-credit/news-and-comment/detail/late-payment-of-claims-legislation.
Euler Hermes Rating launches a new SME and MidCap service. Euler Hermes has announced the launch of TRIBRating, a new rating service specifically designed for SMEs and the ‘Mittelstand’ (MidCaps), to be offered by its subsidiary, Euler Hermes Rating. The TRIBRating service aims to enable smaller businesses (revenues of over €10 million) gain an internationally comparable credit rating using the well-known ‘AAA’ to ‘D’ full spectrum global scale. Research conducted by Euler Hermes Rating reveals that over 30% of the 24,000 companies used to develop the TRIBRating methodology would have obtained a score of BBB or higher under the financial profile component of the methodology’s scorecard. This is the first service developed through the Euler Hermes collaboration with Moody’s Investors Service and is being launched first in Germany before a planned wider European rollout. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-Rating-Launches-New-SME-MidCap-Rating-Service.aspx.
Factoring and Commercial Finance grew by 6.2% in 2016, outpacing GDP. ABFA (Asset Based Finance Association) has reported that final analysis of data collated by the EU Federation for the Factoring and Commercial Finance Industry (EUF) shows that factoring and commercial finance volumes in the EU grew overall in 2016 by 6.2% to €1.5 Trillion. ABFA comments that this rate of growth clearly outpaces the increase in GDP in Europe, and demonstrates the vital role factoring and commercial finance is playing in developing the real economy, principally providing SME businesses with working capital. To read ABFA's news release go to http://www.abfa.org.uk/news/144/Factoring-and-Commercial-Finance-grows-again,-supporting-economic-expansion-in-the-EU, l-Finance-grows-again,-supporting-economic-expansion-in-the-EU#sthash.rzpD7bj3.dpuf.
Why Australian businesses should think about credit insurance before the end of the financial year. Inside Small Business has published an article, 'Why businesses should think about credit insurance before EOFY', in which Mark Hoppe (Managing Director of Atradius Australia) suggests that with budgets for the next year already being drawn up, Australian businesses should include trade credit insurance to protect themselves from the worst case scenario if customers don’t pay. "The importance of trade credit insurance cannot be overstated, given the uncertainty that remains in the market. Insolvencies are on the rise and global economic markets are facing a sustained period of uncertainty." To read Inside Small Business' article go to https://insidesmallbusiness.com.au/planning-management/businesses-think-credit-insurance-eofy.
93% of French businesses report stabilised or improved cash flow. Euler Hermes' latest survey of more than 1,000 French SMEs and large businesses about their investment intentions, cash flow status and January-April 2017 order books has found that half of the companies surveyed cited pressure on prices as the main risk to their profitability, with the most prevalent threat faced by companies in the automotive (66%) and construction (55%) sectors. However,  cashflows have consolidated in 2017 among the companies surveyed; 93% declare that they had stabilised or improved their cash flow and one in three companies plan to increase investment spending in 2017. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-France-2017-barometer-corporate-investment-cash-flow.aspx.
Global ICT businesses face challenges due to major shifts in the sector landscape. Atradius has published a new Market Monitor, 'Focus on ICT Outlook and Performance', with full reports on the ICT market in the UK, the US, China and India, and shorter reports on France, Italy, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the UAE. Overall, Atradius notes that the global ICT market is expanding, with sales of information technology and telecommunications products and services expected to increase 2.5% in 2017  - after growing 2.1% to more than €3 trillion in 2016. However there are challenges, and Atradius also warns that in many developed countries the 'traditional' ICT sector is no longer growing at a rate that cushions businesses against the impact of rising costs and falling prices. In addition, advancing technologies and changing market conditions are driving major shifts in the sector landscape which will increase the probability of failure for ICT businesses that are not able to adapt accordingly. To read Atradius' Market Monitor reports go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/.
Growth forecasts for the Russian economy are positive but weak. Coface's latest paper on the Russian economy reports that after two consecutive years of contraction in economic activity (-2.8% in 2015 and -0.2% in 2016), the growth forecast for the Russian economy is once again positive, albeit weak (1%, according to Coface). The vulnerability of its mid-term growth can be traced to Russia's overly-heavy dependence on hydrocarbons, and Coface warns that despite the recent upturn in oil prices, Russia cannot count on this being sustained, nor on strong growth in oil production. That said, the steep drop in the value of the rouble in 2014-2015 has boosted the competitiveness of certain Russian goods compared to imported goods, but mainly in sectors that have enjoyed specific support measures, such as agrifood, chemicals and rubber/plastics, and these could continue to drive growth. Furthermore, after two years of steep decline (-36% in 2015 and -11% in 2016), car sales went up in March and April 2017, heralding a more positive trend for this sector in 2017. To read Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Russia-is-emerging-from-recession-but-the-structural-constraints-risk-impeding-its-mid-term-growth.
More and more European businesses are forced to accept longer payment times. A new European Payment Report from Intrum Justitia has shown a "staggering" increase in the number of SMEs across Europe who need to accept longer payment times from other, often larger, businesses. 61% of businesses complain about being asked to accept longer payment terms than they feel comfortable with, up from just over 40% last year. Furthermore, the problem seems to lead to a vicious circle, where businesses that receive late payments are in turn forced themselves to pay their sub-contractors late. Notably, 40% of businesses admitted that they regularly pay late, and only 28% said they paid all bills on time. To read Intrum Justitia's news release go to https://www.intrum.com/en/about-us/press-releases/en/index/B292C540373E44F6/Increasing-pressure-on-SMEs-to-accept-longer-payment-times/.
57% of French companies fell victim to a cyber attack in 2016. According to a new study by Euler Hermes and DFCG, the national association of directors of finance and management control, the risk of fraud continues to loom large over French companies. More than 8 out of 10 companies report falling victim to at least one attempted fraud during 2016, and 25% suffered more than 10 fraud attempts. Commenting on the findings, Eric Lenoir, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Euler Hermes France, said: “These are worrying statistics, especially when we know that 20% of respondents failed to thwart all fraud attempts, and that the losses caused can significantly affect business cash flow and profitability. In fact, 10% of the companies attacked last year suffered a loss of more than €100,000." To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/French-fraud-study-reveals-rapidly-increasing-business-cyber-crime-threat-.aspx.
Still ample opportunity for UK businesses to develop trade links in South America. Atradius' latest insight report for businesses looking to trade in South America advises that although political change coupled with economic decline has placed South America’s emerging economies in the spotlight over the last year, there is still ample opportunity for UK businesses to develop trade links within these markets. The UK already exports £7 billion of goods and services to the continent annually, and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reports that the number of British SMEs exporting to South America has doubled within the last five years. According to the FSB, the top export destinations are Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Click here to read Atradius' news release.
Congratulations to . .
Equinox Global and Nexus Group included in the prestigious ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report. Equinox Global and Nexus Group have been identified as among the London Stock Exchange Group’s '1
000 Companies to Inspire Britain'. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across the UK. To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers. For more information go to http://www.lseg.com/resources/1000-companies-inspire
New Publications & Training
Global Credit Insurance Market: Trends & Opportunities (2014-2019). A new report, 'Global Credit Insurance Market: Trends and Opportunities (2014-2019)', has been published by Daedal Research and is available for $800. The report assesses the market size and trends of the global trade credit insurance market and examines the key opportunities, the factors driving growth of the market and challenges being faced by the players in the industry. Key players in the industry like Coface, Euler Hermes and Atradius are also profiled. For more information go to http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/234740.
The Trade Credit Insurance & Surety Academy 
Training and education on Trade Credit Insurance and Surety is provided by STECIS, the educational foundation endorsed by ICISA. STECIS promotes knowledge and professionalism in the technical theory and practice (case studies) of trade credit insurance and surety underwriting. This includes in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market.
STECIS develops two-day training seminars, fly-in & fly-out seminars and tailor-made in-company training programs. They are all highly intensive and interactive with the highest standard of knowledge sharing and offer a unique networking opportunity. Participation is valued by professionals from inside and outside the industry such as the media or civil servants of Ministries and other administrative authorities.
STECIS Surety Advanced Training Seminar, 8 – Friday 30 June 2017, The Hague.
Best Practices in Uncertain Times - Underwriting, Claims Handling and Business Development in Surety Today
Among others the following subjects will be addressed: A two-day in depth training in underwriting surety and managing risks during a recession. The seminar is aimed at experienced surety underwriters (recommended 4 years’ experience or more).
STECIS Trade Credit Insurance Advanced Training Seminar, 28-30 June 2017, The Hague.
The Essence of Trade Credit Insurance.

Day 1: Underwriting 
Day 2: Claims Handling 
This two-day advanced training seminar in Trade Credit Insurance for experienced professionals (4 years experience and more) is modular. Participants can choose to attend one or both modules. 
The basic training seminars are open to participants with up to 3 years of work experience. The advanced training seminars are open to participants who have attended the basic training seminars or have at least 4 years of relevant work experience. The seminar fee is € 2.200 - and includes all training material, the welcome cocktail & all meals (dinners & lunches). Travel costs and any additional expenses (e.g. hotel room, phone, (mini) bar) are not included. 
Coming Soon:  Credit Management News Digest
We are hugely excited to announce that we will be launching a new business information service and newsletter, Credit Management News and Credit Management News Digest, on 28 June.
The new Digest will enable us to provide tailored newsletters specifically designed for credit insurers, financial directors, credit managers and other professionals with an interest in accessing a range of interesting and pertinent articles in a succinct and easily 'digestible' format. Initially, content will be an expansion of Credit Insurance News Digest's former business information section. 

Subscribe? We're currently developing a list of subscribers for Credit Management News Digest and would be delighted to add your name. Issues will be free. Click here to sign-up or email us.

Advertise: We  are now welcoming new advertisers to Credit Management News Digest and are offering extremely competitive introductory deals. Please email us for further information. Sponsorship slots will be available in Q4 2017.
New Appointments
Markel International has announced the appointment of Dillon Matthews as Trade Credit Underwriter and Senior Risk Analyst in Singapore. Mr. Matthews will focus on expanding Markel’s trade credit business in the region, including the development of specialist products, servicing existing client portfolios and growing broker and client relationships. He will report to Abhishek Chhajer, Senior Underwriter and Head of Trade Credit in Singapore, and joins Bennett Wong, (Underwriter) and Lynn Koh (Underwriting Assistant). Before joining Markel, Mr. Matthews was a Senior Underwriter in Atradius' Special Products Division.
Sompo Canopius has announced that Will Clark has joined the group as Head of Trade Credit, leading a new Trade Credit Insurance team focused on establishing a new book of excess of loss short term trade credit business. Mr. Clark, a prominent figure in the trade credit insurance industry with over thirty years' experience in banking and trade credit insurance, has joined from AIG. He will report to Bernie de Haldevang, Global Head of Specialty. Additional new hires for the Trade Credit Insurance team include Yvonne McCormack, Scott Morrison, Claire Davenport and Daina Muceniece.
XL Catlin has announced that it has opened its first political risk, credit and bond (PRCB) practice in Canada and has appointed Marvin Azzopardi as Senior Underwriter. Mr. Azzopardi is tasked with leading the continued growth of PRCB business in Canada through partnering directly with Canadian clients and their brokers. He will be based in Toronto and will report to Richard Abizaid, Regional Product Leader, Americas.
AIG has announced three new appointments to its Political Risk and Trade Credit team. Mark Moran, formerly Global Head of Excess of Loss Underwriting at Euler Hermes, has been appointed as Head Credit Officer Sharon Giddings, also formerly at Euler Hermes where she was Head of Broker Distribution at Euler Hermes, joins AIG as UK Head of Trade Credit. Sumeet Berry from Credit Suisse has been appointed as Director of Structured Credit.
Atradius has announced that Gary Geller has been appointed as the new London underwriting team head for its Special Products Unit. Mr. Geller has over 30 years of experience in trade finance, commodity trading and management of commodity-related projects, and most recently worked on alternative fundraising strategies for trade finance clients across a variety of sectors. 
The Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI) has announced the appointment of Dominque Charpentier as its new Chairman. Mr. Charpentier has extensive industry knowledge and experience in finance and credit insurance and has held executive positions at of SCOA and PINAULT Groups, and Société Marseillaise de Crédit. He has also held senior leadership positions at Euler Group, Société Française de Factoring and Eurofactor, and was most recently served on the Management Board of Atradius as Chief Insurance Operations Officer. 
Coface has announced that it has appointed Carlos Casanova as its Economist for the Asia-Pacific region based in Hong Kong. Mr. Casanova was formerly an economist for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in Hong Kong.
Career Opportunities
Trade Credit Insurance Broker - several US locations.
Meridian Finance Group provides credit, insurance, and trade finance tools that companies use to expand their US and international sales. We arrange cross-border financing, broker trade credit insurance and political risk insurance, administer Ex-Im Bank programs, and offer a wide range of related services.
Since 1993 we’ve helped hundreds of middle-market companies and small businesses nationwide to grow their sales and obtain trade finance.
Meridian has been named Ex-Im Bank Broker-of-the-Year three times. In 2015 Meridian received the President’s “E” Award for our support of US exporters. Meridian’s president was appointed in 2016 to a new federal government trade finance advisory council.
There is a lot of potential for our services nationwide and we’re committed to growth. At this time we’re looking to fill several positions on our team.
In California, we’re looking to add a third business development person to our growing West Coast sales group.
In the Southeast, our regional sales manager accepted a position at one of our underwriters, so we’re seeking a replacement. She was based in Miami, but we would consider Atlanta or elsewhere for the right person.
In the Midwest, we have some clients already but see a lot of growth potential and are aiming to establish a new business development position.
Our business is not exactly like that of all other Credit Insurance News subscribers but it’s close enough that we would welcome the opportunity to interview any sharp candidates from this sector or similar lines.
Meridian employees in sales positions are responsible for growing our revenues by developing and maintaining relationships with referral sources, attending trade shows, making presentations, calling on prospects and clients, booking new business and renewals, partnering with fellow employees, and assuming other duties as assigned.
Meridian’s services are highly specialized and we provide comprehensive training and support for new employees.
We’re seeking serious professionals with successful track records selling sophisticated B2B financial services, people with a combination of strong technical competence and even stronger people skills, who we can develop to help us take Meridian’s sales to the next level.
For more information and to apply for these position please contact Gary Mendell at gmendell@meridianfinance.com.
Forthcoming Events
7th Annual Africa Insurance & Reinsurance Conference, 21-22 June, Nairobi.
Conference theme: Road map for insurance inclusion and penetration.
Africa continues to offer significant potential for future investment. Sustainable economic expansion and demographic transformation are making the insurance market more attractive, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the industry rides the wave of growth in this second fastest growing region in the World, the scale of opportunity is compelling. Low market penetration is giving way to rising consumer demand and new technologies. In this shifting landscape, is organic growth a greater priority than mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or new products. For more information or to register for conference go to http://aidembs.com/.
Coface Country Risk Conference, 28 June 2017. London.
Coface UK’s next Country Risk Conference will provide an early chance for businesses to consider trade risks and opportunities at a critical time for the British economy. As the dust settles on the General Election and Brexit negotiations formally begin, Coface has brought together leading economists and analysts to assess the domestic and international trading environments for UK businesses. This is the twelfth annual conference held by Coface, and the event programme features expert insights on the challenges facing the UK; whether the global recovery is sustainable; the impact of geopolitical risk; and a focus on the defence sector.The half-day morning event includes round-table discussions about the issues raised and delegates will be able to put their questions to the experts during these sessions. For more information go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-and-Publications/Coface-Country-Risk-Conference.
GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Week 2017, 5-7 September. Singapore.
Global Trade Review, bringing the trade and treasury community together for well over a decade, will return to Singapore on September 5-7, 2017 for the award-winning conference series, GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Week. Building on its world-renowned reputation as the largest and most popular trade finance gathering anywhere in the world, the conference will provide an effective and impartial marketplace for all involved in trade, commodity and export finance, to gather for lively debate, networking and timely discussion. Offering a first-class business environment based in the heart of Asian trade routes, Singapore is an ideal location in which to find top-level trade and treasury specialists and global business leaders. Attendance figures are expected to exceed the 900 plus delegates of 2016’s event, making this an essential place to be for anyone involved in international trade and treasury. Click here to register or for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Insuring Commodity & Finance, 12 September 2017. London.
Banking regulation, geopolitical instability and volatile commodities markets are some of the key factors driving use of credit & political risk insurance amongst commodity financiers.
Join us for the first ever ExCred Commodities conference, the only conference out there dedicated to Insuring Commodity Finance, taking place 12 September in London. Hear from the world's leading insurance buyers: how are banks, traders & producers using credit risk insurance? What can insurers do to further support international trade & the supply chain?
All Credit Insurance News readers are entitled for a 10% discount off the delegate fee. Please quote VIP Code 
FKW53536CINL when registering. A limited number of free places are available for banks, traders and producers. Contact greg.gale@informa.com to apply for a free pass.
International Credit and Risk Management Summit, 10-12 September 2017, Rome.
World-class Education and Networking for International Credit and Risk Managers.
Unparalleled international professional development through 2 days of educational sessions. Outstanding networking opportunities with colleagues through open forums and social events.
Sessions on trade credit insurance, include panel members from Marsh, Equinox Global, Coface, Crion and Atradius. For more information and to register go to http://fcibglobal.com/summit-home.html.
Commodity Trade Finance Conference 2017, 26 September 2017. Switzerland.
GTR’s annual Commodity Trade Finance Conference will return to Lugano for its fourth year in September 2017. While the global trading market is facing ever more challenges, new opportunities are also arising. Targeting an even more diverse crowd, the 2017 event will act as the ultimate networking platform for the commodity trade finance community, with experts from commodity trading houses, global corporates, financiers and service providers all in attendance, all ready to give unique insights and advice. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Indonesia Trade & Commodity Finance Conference, 5 October. Jakarta.
GTR will return to Jakarta in October to provide an update on the domestic economy and an outline of the trade challenges which lie ahead. The Indonesia Trade & Commodity Finance Conference in Jakarta is the premier platform for trade and commodity experts, domestic and international, to gather for a day of discussion, debate and networking. Dedicated networking breaks throughout the conference will give delegates the chance to gather new leads and become reacquainted with peers. Save travel, time and money by attending, and meet the largest names in the trade & commodity markets all under one roof. Click here to register or for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Receivables Finance Masterclass, 10 October 2017. London.
Attend this advanced and comprehensive Masterclass to gain a deeper understanding of the latest receivables purchase structures, risk and legal constraints. Covering factoring, supply chain finance and forfaiting, the Masterclass enables participants to realise the value of future receivables, implement more profitable purchasing arrangements, mitigate risk, gain added value through supply chain financing, optimise insurance and reduce costs.
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN17 at www.bcrconferences.com.
Trade & Infrastructure Finance Conference 2017, 25-26 October 2017. London.
Since its inception in 2015, the GTR Africa Trade & Infrastructure Finance Conference has provided a key forum for regional corporates, financiers and trade specialists to meet and discuss Africa’s trade potential, as well as infrastructure and investment opportunities available across the continent.
 With London housing a great number of institutions involved in African trade and infrastructure finance, the city acts as an ideal location for like-minded organisations to get together to assess future priorities.
The brochure will be made available in August 2017. In the meantime, please click here to download the pre-event media kit for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Mexico Trade & Export Finance Conference 2017, 26 October 2017. Mexico City.
Returning to Mexico City for its third year, GTR’s Mexico Trade & Export Finance Conference 2017 will take place on October 26.
 Leading representatives from across the world of trade and export finance will convene at the JW Marriot to discuss challenges and opportunities within the domestic and global trading environment. Supported by an increasing number of sponsors and partners since its inception, 2017’s event is not to be missed for those looking to foster new working relationships as well as reinforce existing ties with key industry players.
Click here for more information.  A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner, hosted by Tokio Marine HCC. 9 November 2017, London.
Tokio Marine HCC is honoured to announce that we are hosting this year’s dinner at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms. For our inaugural hosting of the dinner, we promise you a memorable evening and would be delighted if you would join us for a glass of bubbles in the Drawing Room, before taking our seats in the Grand Hall for dinner.
An important part of the evening is the opportunity it provides to support some extremely worthwhile causes through the traditional charity raffle and silent auctions. This year Tokio Marine HCC has selected two outstanding charities to receive the benefit of that support – St Mungo’s and LOROS. We are delighted to announce our auctioneer is the TV Presenter and Antiques columnist, Jamie Breese.
After dinner we can all look forward to tales and comedy quips from Miles Jupp, before returning to the Drawing Room to catch up with colleagues and friends from the industry and dancing to the sounds of Groove Instinct.
Don’t miss your opportunity to join us at this special event and book your tickets early. Visit tmhcc.com/ukcredit and follow the link to place your booking.
China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference 2017, 14 November 2017. Shanghai, China.
Following several years in Beijing, GTR returns to Shanghai for a second year to host the China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference 2017, now established as a crucial annual get-together for regional financiers, corporates and trade experts.
Themes to be covered include economic challenges and opportunities in and around the country, and a breakdown of what the future may hold for what is still the world’s leading exporter.
 Offering a first-class business environment, GTR’s conference will save you travel, time and money by providing access to the market’s key players all in one central location.
Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference 2017, 16 November 2017. Stockholm.
Marking a decade in Sweden, the Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference returns to Stockholm in November 2017.
Being the only event of its kind in the Nordic region, the conference continues to attract a huge range of international corporates, financiers, regulators, insurers, legal specialists and trade experts, providing a unique forum for those involved in Nordic trade to meet and learn from market peers.
Key drivers for discussion will include the impact of an uncertain geopolitical climate on international trade, as well as key challenges and new opportunities in emerging markets, the future role of technology in trade finance, treasury and working capital optimisation, and financial risk management featuring throughout the course of this focused one-day gathering.
Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for readers with code CIN15.
Alternative and Receivables Finance Forum 16 November 2017. London.
BCR’s Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum has been tracking the revolution in receivables and invoice finance for the last 4 years. This is a unique gathering, where you can network with established receivables finance providers and ‘alternative’ SME funders and find out how the competitive landscape for commercial finance is changing. The comprehensive programme provides insights into the priorities influencing SMEs’ financial choices and showcases the latest technology-enabled distribution models.  Come to A&RF 2017 to engage in the debate and help define the future of working capital finance.
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN17 at www.bcrconferences.com.
About this Issue's Sponsor: World Television
We are a leading international video communications agency.
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We are one video communications agency with technology at its heart and a wide range of video platforms, products and services such as:
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World Television has a range of product and services to cater to your every communication need. Find out more about our platforms and services at http://www.world-television.com, email us or call James on + 44 20 7243 7350.
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