UK Export Finance (UKEF) has appointed trade finance specialist Ken Ackroyd as its first head of UK trade finance and insurance advisory services in its increased drive to support exporters who are seeking to grow by entering new global markets.

UKEF, the UK’s export credit agency, helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by sharing financial risks that the private sector is unable to shoulder alone.

Ken, who has amassed three decades of commercial banking expertise, joins UKEF from Barclays Bank where he held a number of senior trade positions including co-head of corporate trade finance for Asia.

Ken Ackroyd
Ken Ackroyd

In his new role, Ken will oversee UKEF’s 21-strong team of export finance advisers, who help companies across the UK to support their growth in new international markets and to boost the wider UK economy.

Paul Croucher, head of trade finance & insurance solutions (TFIS) group at UK Export Finance commented: “Ken’s appointment comes at a formative time for UK Export Finance, whose three year strategic plan is committed to accelerating support for exporters seeking to take their businesses further.

“Ken’s expertise in working with medium-sized businesses (MSBs) will be particularly invaluable as we are appointing an additional three new roles to advise mid-market companies. Ken will also be pivotal in collaborating with UK Trade & Investment on a new initiative to expand the level of support and funding for more MSB firms.”

Ken, who will be a member of UKEF’s senior management team, said: “I have been passionate about helping businesses to access trade finance to export for more than 30 years. I welcome this opportunity to contribute to UKEF’s strategic direction and to lead such an experienced team of export finance advisers.”

Yorkshire-born Ken, who lives near Grantham, Lincolnshire, has held a number of senior management positions with banks, including UK head of global trade finance at Fortis Bank, where he led the development of its UK trade finance offer and the creation of Asia Link, a dedicated South Asian trade finance business development team. He has also undertaken a number of pro bono positions with organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce, trade associations and the former East Midlands Development Agency, where he has advised on international trade.

Providing guarantees and insurance policies that complement those on offer in the private sector, as well as guidance on sources of export finance, UKEF’s products and services include working capital schemes, bond support and letters of credit guarantees.

UKEF’s export finance advisers based around the UK are available to offer guidance on the support available to UK businesses with export growth plans. For further information on UK Export Finance and its support schemes, please visit the website at, or contact our national customer helpline 020 7271 8010 or email[email protected].

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