Mark West, the former director of London Forfaiting Company (LFC), has joined Deutsche Forfait (DF) as a board member, to replace Marina Attawar when she leaves the company at the end of 2015.

West started on July 1, and will work closely with Attawar for the next six months, after which she will relocate to Cairo for personal reasons, while maintaining a consulting role with DF. Meanwhile Frank Hock, the other board member, will continue to oversee the company’s finances as his contract has been renewed.

“From my point of view, it is very important that Marina stays involved in the company – she was one of the founders, and for the sake of continuity, as well as for my benefit as I come in, it’s very handy to be able to call on her,” West tells GTR.

He will split his time between DF’s Cologne headquarters and its London office, and will be responsible for driving business sales. He has been in the trade finance and forfaiting business since 1984, when he became a main board director for London Forfaiting Company. He stayed in the role until 2000, before LFC was acquired by Fimbank in 2003.

We are very busy. In the time that we were blocked on the [OFAC] list nobody really filled up our space completely. Marina Attawar, Deutsche Forfait

After that, West’s experience includes management positions at Noble Trade Finance Services, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and LG Forfait. Since October 2014, he has been the largest individual shareholder of DF, holding 23.26% of the company’s share capital.

Attawar is a founding member and shareholder of DF and has served on the company’s board of management from its inception.

“I’ll still be connected with a consultancy contract, and being in Cairo will give me the opportunity to look at the local market, as it’s just the right time to get into Egypt,” she says.

According to her, the business is picking up after its OFAC listing last year left it at an eight-month standstill.

“We are very busy. When we did the review of the first three months, we really noticed that in the time that we were blocked on the list nobody really filled up our space completely. That was a big relief because people still know us for our special expertise and USP,” she adds.