Experienced trade finance banker Geoff Cox has been named general manager of Agitrade Pacific Pty Ltd, based in Sydney.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Agritrade Group, a Singapore-based commodity and shipping solutions provider, the focus of the newly-launched Australian business will be to develop new source markets for existing commodities, such as coal, oil and palm oil, and expanding the range of agricultural commodities traded.

Cox left Commonwealth Bank of Australia in January, where he was most recently global head of trade finance sales. He has been replaced by Richard Benjamin, who in addition to his role as chief operating officer for global trade finance, is now acting global head of trade sales.

The company also has a listed entity in Hong Kong, Agritrade Resources, while its commodity trading arm is Agritrade International.

Cox, when asked how overlap there is between his old roles in banking and his new role, tells GTR: “Surprisingly more than I expected. Having dealt with many trading companies throughout my career in trade finance you get a pretty good idea of what drives success, where some of the pitfalls lay, and importantly what banks look for when considering the establishment of finance lines. I think it has been useful as well to bring a bankers perspective into the approach setting up a new entity and with broader strategic discussions with my new colleagues at Agritrade.”

He says that the company sees Australia as “an important new supply market to source good quality thermal coal for both existing and new clients internationally, as well as an opportunity to further diversify into new Agricultural commodities such as grains and oilseed”.

“Once we progress further will look to recruit traders to start to execute on the business plan and further build the networks here for Agritrade in Australia,” he adds.