European Risk Capital (ERC) has launched a structured trade and commodities finance group, as part of its alternative assets activities.

A London team will provide primary origination, marketing and client sourcing, while structuring and distribution will go through Paris-based trade finance boutique Fi-Nest EURL, founded by Jean-Francois Khan, ERC tells GTR.

Tony Gioulis, ERC’s managing partner, says further recruitment may take place in the new year for the London team.

“The primary reason for ERC’s new initiative is the retrenchment of conventional funders in the sector. Furthermore, this is now followed by the emergence of new investor sources including specialist funds and our access to these platforms is where we feel we can add significant value to our client base,” he tells GTR.

He adds that the new group expects most of the business to take place in emerging markets, with no particular sector focus.

Khan previously worked as a structured commodities finance banker at VTB Bank.