Singapore-based fintech vCargo Cloud (VCC) has hired Eric Chen as a business development director.

Having started in the newly created role in late July, Chen is responsible for developing the firm’s secured trade lending business, which will look to leverage blockchain and internet of things (IoT).

He is also involved in the development of marketing strategies, as well as the onboarding of corporates and banks onto the company’s CamelONE Trade Finance platform.

The multi-bank platform, which aims to offer a simplified and more secure trade finance process, was launched on Singapore’s Networked Trade Platform (NTP) in November 2019 and had the backing of nine banks.

ANZ, BNP Paribas, DBS Bank, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, MUFG Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered and United Overseas Bank all supported the initiative by offering trade finance products through the service.

Since then, GTR reported in March that DBS had carried out the first trade finance transaction through the CamelONE portal, helping complete a S$4.8mn letter of credit (LC) by Singapore-based wholesaler and supplier Super Steel for a shipment of steel from China to Singapore.

Chen reports to vCargo Cloud’s CEO Desmond Tay and joins from Singapore-based asset management firm EFA Group, where he had been serving as a senior relationship manager since 2016.

In the role, he worked as part of an investment team dedicated to managing EFA Group’s flagship private debt fund, known as the LH Asian Trade Finance Fund, which focused on the financing of Asian trade flows with assets under management (AUM) in excess of US$400mn.

Chen held commodity-finance focused positions at a few different banks in Singapore in the half decade prior to this, having moved to EFA Group from his role as relationship manager for energy and commodity (E&C) structured debt at Natixis, a post he held for over two years.

He also served as a relationship manager for energy and metals traders at HSBC, and for metals and steel traders at ABN Amro, and as an assistant relationship manager at BNP Paribas, as part of the mining and metals team.