Wilfried Verstraete has been appointed as the new CEO and chairman of the management board of Atradius, the credit insurance and credit management group formerly known as Gerling NCM.

Verstraete has had a distinguished career with France Telecom where he held the position of chief financial officer at Orange, Wanadoo and Mobistar. Before that he held senior management positions with other leading companies, including Recticel in Brussels. He has extensive experience and expertise in managing fast growing international business. Verstraete succeeds Paul-Henri Denieuil, who became interim CEO last August following a shareholding restructuring. As envisaged at the time, Denieuil has joined the Atradius supervisory board. For a period of three months he will act as an adviser to the new CEO. Denieuil will then succeed Rudolf Kellenberger, deputy CEO of Swiss Re, as chairman of the supervisory board while Kellenberger will stay as a member of the supervisory board.

Peter Ingenlath, chief market and chief risk officer, will become vice-chairman of the management board.

Atradius, which ranks number two on the credit insurance market worldwide, insures customers against the risk of non-payment, providing a comprehensive range of risk transfer, financing and other trade receivables services. Atradius, formerly Gerling NCM, was renamed and completely rebranded on January 5 as part of its migration from the Gerling Group. Atradius is present in 40 countries with more than 90 offices.

A shareholder restructuring, completed on August 12, 2003, brought in Deutsche Bank and Swiss Re as main shareholders in place of the German Gerling Group. Its strong shareholder structure comprises: Swiss Re 47.50%, Deutsche Bank 38.36%, Sal Oppenheim 7%, Crédito y Caución 7%, Seguros Catalana Occidente 0.14%.

Atradius has a standalone rating of A from Standard & Poor’s and A2 from Moody’s .

In November 2003, Swiss Re, Deutsche Bank and Seguros Catalana Occidente underwrote subordinated notes by Atradius (then still Gerling NCM) with a total principal of €110mn – further strengthening its capitalisation and stabilising its ratings.

An announced co-operation with new shareholder Crédito y Caución, Spain’s leading credit insurer (ranking fourth globally), will significantly increase its market position and global reach. Atradius access to credit information and expertise in the Spanish and related markets will be materially improved, for the benefit of customers trading there.

The management board of Atradius now comprises Wilfried Verstraete (chairman and chief executive officer), Peter Ingenlath (vice-chairman, chief market officer and chief risk officer) and Anno Kamphuis (chief financial officer).