Contour has brought in Daniel Cotti, former managing director, centre of excellence banking and trade at Marco Polo, as a consultant, as the digital trade finance solution provider seeks to further expand its network.

Cotti left Marco Polo last month to focus on Cotti Trade & Treasury (CTT), an advisory service for the trade finance industry, with the aim of leveraging the expertise he has built up to bring together a “global network of trade experts that subscribe to the vision of digitising the trade business”.

This consultancy agreement, which Cotti tells GTR is the first of many, will see him advise Contour on the next stage of its development.

“Over the course of my career, my focus has always been on making documentary trade more efficient. The solutions, the standards and the legal framework that we need in order to digitalise these processes already exist; what we now need is ecosystem-wide collaboration to bring forth the future of trade. The aim of CTT is to work with multipliers in the finance, logistics and corporate space that have a substantial reach in their domains and convene the industry around the common goal of digitalisation,” Cotti says. “Contour is the first such multiplier; it is already working with many banks and corporates.”

“Dani and I have been working in parallel on trade digitalisation for years,” says Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour. “It’s exciting to be working directly with him now; he has such passion and energy for making this happen and he’s thinking way into the future. We see this as an opportunity to work together to build a bigger, more collaborative ecosystem.” He adds that Contour is especially interested in leveraging Cotti’s contacts in Europe, as the network – which has built up a strong value proposition in Asia – seeks to consolidate its position globally.

Contour, which went live in 2020, delivers decentralised digital trade finance over distributed ledger technology, which allows parties to transact and view information securely. In recent months it has been working to build out its offering, with the purchase of the rulebook and other associated legal documents from defunct blockchain platform

“The opportunity to pick up the assets was a nice opportunity for us; we see it as future-proofing the network – we have it when we need it and when people want it,” Wegner tells GTR. “As we look at our product map and continue to expand, we’re not looking at going into open account tomorrow. We’re looking at what are the steps to roll out what we have now into a bigger ecosystem.”

Cotti says that his plan over the coming months will be to establish more partnerships to build the foundation for greater adoption of both new and existing digital trade finance offerings.