Michael Foundethakis has been appointed global head of Baker & McKenzie’s newly created trade and export finance group.

The firm says it established the new group “in response to increasing client demand for commercial trade and export credit financing”.

Based in Paris, Foundethakis has more than 20 years of experience in this area, the latest 16 of which spent as Emea head of banking and finance at Baker & McKenzie. He regularly advises development banks and major commercial banks on deals involving export credit agencies (ECAs). He has also advised large corporates such as Siemens and Vale on ECA-covered finance deals.

He says: “We are responding to the way clients are moving the market. ECAs are driving even the biggest deals now, collaborating with commercial banks and often with other ECAs and DFIs. Work volumes have increased dramatically to the point we needed a dedicated global group to ensure consistent and high-quality advice to our clients around the world.”

Partners Ken Chuah in Singapore, Frances Okosi in Johannesburg, Carlos Sagaon in Mexico City, Oliver Socher in Frankfurt and Mark Tibberts in New York join Foundethakis in managing the practice.