Malta-based Fimbank has made three new appointments in an effort to further strengthen its abilities in trade finance.

Walter Cools is joining as head of trade services, while Thomas Dissen joins as head of corporate and institutional banking. Sylvia Schmitz has been hired as the bank’s head of transaction management control.

Cools began his banking career with Bank of America in Belgium as an internal auditor, and later headed up the bank’s documentary services department. He then joined a Swiss-based trading company as a senior trade finance officer, before moving to Rabobank International to head up its funds transfer and documentary services department. He also headed up Barclays’ trade finance department in Brussels, and just before joining Fimbank he worked at Fortis Bank, where he played a key role in the analysis and consultancy for trade finance software implementation for Europe.

Dissen has been primarily based in London before joining Fimbank, and has held the post of managing director, head of relationship management and origination and global financial institutions at Lloyds TSB. He has also worked as assistant general manager, head of treasury and capital market sales at BayernLB, as well as the post of director and head of corporate and institutional marketing for Europe at KBC. Dissen went on to work as director and deputy head of corporate banking Europe at Daiwa securities. Before joining Fimbank, Thomas held the position of director of European banks at National Australia Bank.

Schmitz has enjoyed a 20-year international banking career working at WestLB in the trade finance department, where she gained experience in all forms of financing, including documentary credits as well as the structuring of complex trade transactions. She went on to hold the positions of senior controller in commodity finance, as well as senior credit analyst (financial institutions) where she has been responsible for financial analysis, account relationship management and risk management.

Commenting on these appointments, Armin Eckermann, Fimbank’s head of banking and deputy president, says: “We are delighted to welcome such experienced and highly skilled professionals to our team. Apart from being a manifestation of the bank’s growth strategy, these appointments also underline our commitment to offer the best service possible to our clients.”