Blockchain trade finance platform Contour has hired Joshua Kroeker as its chief product officer.

Kroeker joins from Contour member bank HSBC, where he spent 14 years, most recently as blockchain lead for global commercial banking. Most recently, he headed up a global team tasked with understanding the potential application of blockchain technology for trade finance. In collaboration with other banks throughout the world, Kroeker and his team also drove efforts to develop this technology in Europe with, as well as with eTradeConnect in Hong Kong.

Before the advent of blockchain technology, Kroeker led HSBC’s traditional trade digitisation efforts by developing digital channels and partnering with industry providers such as Swift, Bolero and essDocs to reduce the over-reliance on paper in the industry.

Based in Singapore, Kroeker reports to Contour CEO Carl Wegner, and is tasked with developing a trade finance product suite that Contour’s network of banks, corporates and partners can use to digitise their global trade finance processes.

Speaking on his appointment, Kroeker says: “Contour has the right backing by industry leaders who deeply understand the problem we are trying to solve, is customer-centric in its development and has a viable path to scaling into a global standard. Contour is also not an experimental platform, it is solving a real problem with its launch product, a digitised letter of credit tool. Hearing the positive feedback on Contour first-hand from banks, corporates and industry partners for the past two years makes me extremely proud to be joining this organisation and being entrusted to help deliver on its promise.”

Since moving into full commercial production with the creation of a standalone legal entity in January this year, Contour – formerly known as Voltron – has expanded its scope beyond digitalising the letter of credit process, with trials of smart guarantees, the addition of new, non-bank partners in the pre-trade space, and the successful closing of the first paperless renminbi (Rmb)-denominated deal in the iron ore industry last month.

“To have someone like Joshua join our team is a huge boon to our business – coming not only from a well-respected trade finance institution, but also with an extensive background in the sector,” says Wegner. “Throughout 2020, Contour will continue to grow – enhancing our offering and providing a more effective way of conducting letter of credit (LC) issuance.”