GTR recently caught up with some of the structured trade and commodity finance team at HSH Nordbank. The bank is gelling its operations in this area since emerging from the merger between Hamburgische Landesbank and LB Kiel last year.

We reported in December that Hansjorg Kessler had left Nedbank in London, where he was head of structured trade finance and moved to HSH Nordbank to head up the bank’s expanding commodity trade finance team dealing with metals and energy from London. Kessler said back then: “HSH is the only German bank growing and with a plan for future growth in this area. We have a very positive attitude.”

He is still very bullish, as is Ken Owen, the bank’s commodity trade finance manager based in London. Both commented to GTR that the outlook for 2004 was extremely good, with the Baltic region a particular bright spot owing to the bank’s presence and experience there. Asia, Latin America and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe are also priority regions.

David Lopez Menendez is running the Hamburg-based structured commodity finance unit, which together with CTF London under Kessler, CTF Singapore under Lee Keenman and Export & Trade Finance Kiel under Klaus-Volker Lenk form Global Trade Finance, headed up by Hans-Jurgen Buchfink.