Innovative trade finance market network Tradeteq has appointed former SWIFT Managing Director André Casterman as a non-executive director. Casterman, having been an advisor to the Tradeteq board since May 2018, will remain an advisor as the company continues to innovate in the digitalisation of the “originate and distribute” model for trade finance assets.
A well-known figure in trade finance circles, Casterman is the Chairman of the International Trade & Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA’s) Fintech Committee.
He is also a board member of the ITFA and previously spent five years on the executive committee of the International Chamber of Commerce’s influencial Banking Commission. Yet he is probably best known for his five-year tenure (2010-15) as SWIFT’s Global Head of Corporate and Supply Chain Markets. During that time, Casterman was responsible for SWIFT’s trade finance innovations (such as ICC UR BPO and MT 798) – forging the SWIFT and ICC co-development of the inaugural digital trade settlement instrument, whose adoption continues to grow.
“When it comes to the digitalisation of trade finance, André’s expertise and experience is unrivalled,” says Tradeteq founder and CEO Christoph Gugelmann. “His advice when building the Tradeteq marketplace has been critical, and we are very pleased to announce his acceptance of a non-executive directorship at such an exciting time for our young company.”
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“Tradeteq is unique in overcoming some of the greatest barriers to making trade finance assets an investable asset class for the institutional market,” says Casterman. “The most critical barrier is the credit-scoring concern, which is exactly the issue Tradeteq solves through its innovative machine-learning AI credit analysis for smaller companies. Tradeteq’s suite of models predict credit events by combining multiple sources of information, which enables investors to assess and risk-manage opportunities in trade finance.”
Current rejection rates in trade finance are roughly 50%, which Tradeteq aims to reduce through a credit assessment model that filters out 96% of defaulting companies.
“The use of AI to reduce rejection rates and increase investment from non-bank investors will help trade originators gradually fill the trade finance gap [currently estimated globally at US$1.6 trillion by the Asian Development Bank],” says Casterman. “I think the buy-side experience of the Tradeteq team as well as its technology will be a game changer – attracting institutional investors to the trade asset class.”
André Casterman will continue his other roles at ITFA and at INTIX, a leading SWIFT partner and provider of data management technology.