London-based credit asset manager Channel Capital Advisors has made three new hires, as the firm prepares to launch its second trade finance fund.

With Katie Achaibou, Dalia Kay and Aarti Patel all having started in Channel’s London office in recent weeks, GTR understands from a source familiar with the matter that at least two of the new hires will be involved with a new fund based in the Netherlands.

It’s believed investments will start being made into the fund at the beginning of the second financial quarter of this year.

This follows Channel’s launch of a shariah-compliant trade finance fund in July 2019, which Channel’s chief investment officer Paul Wilson says has grown “substantially”, with the company expecting it to get up to about US$300mn to US$500mn of total assets under management in the next two to three years.

Wilson declined to comment on Channel’s plans for a new fund, but speaking to GTR about the new hires he says: “It is organic growth and an expansion of all our trade finance funds efforts. Having launched our first trade finance fund in July, we’ve partly taken on these new hires to help with that particular fund, as it’s growing.”

He adds: “Secondly, we’ve got a number of new initiatives that are going to be launched imminently, that these people are going to be closely involved with.”

Patel will report to Wilson and CEO Walter Gontarek in her role as director of origination and business development, where she will focus on origination and investments across debt products and trade finance assets, while also looking to shape the company’s brand strategy.

She joins from her position as head of European sales at Tradeteq, prior to which she spent seven years at Bank ABC, working in the global trade debt and distribution division.

Wilson says that Achaibou and Kay will report to him and will be “100% focused on the trade finance funds”.

Achaibou, who takes on the role of trade finance portfolio manager, joins after a seven-year stint at Commonwealth Bank, where she had most recently been serving as a product and business manager for trade finance in Europe.

Meanwhile Kay moves to Channel as a senior advisor from Federated Hermes (formerly Federated Investors). She joined the firm in 2013 to set up its London trade finance desk, prior to which she spent nearly two decades at GML Capital, serving most recently as a senior portfolio manager and senior investment analyst.