Paul Schuilwerve, global head of commodities at Fortis Bank based in Rotterdam, is moving to a new role within the bank, based in Singapore.
As of August 15th, he is taking up the role of senior managing director, head of merchant banking, Asia Pacific, which will cover asset based finance, including commodities, investment, commercial, corporate and public banking. He is also becoming a member of the Fortis Asia Pacific Management Board.

He will be based in Singapore and take over from Jaap Kalverkamp, who has been appointed head of ABN Amro Investment Banking and deputy CEO for ABN Amro’s merchant banking in The Netherlands.

Schuilwerve already has extensive experience of the Asian market. He worked in Hong Kong and Shanghai between 1995 and 1996, and in Singapore between 1998 and 2003 within the commodities division of Fortis.

Fortis has identified Asia as a key area for expansion and key growth area, especially in providing financial services for companies active in energy, commodities and transportation industries, one of the growth engines of Fortis merchant banking.

The merchant banking business saw double-digit growth in 2007 with an increase of 50% in its revenue over the last one year in Asia Pacific. It employs more than 700 people in the region.

Commenting on the appointment, Henrard remarks: “Paul has a deep knowledge on the commodities sector and understanding of the markets in Asia where he worked for six years previously. I have utmost confidence in his leadership skills to expand our achievements and continue to deliver the high quality services to our clients.”

Schuilwerve adds: “I am excited to be back in Asia and be part of the merchant banking team here. Fortis has established a strong regional and global position in many of our products and skills.

“One of my tasks will be to generate sustainable growth and further building our business in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Dubai. In Dubai, we are currently in the process of upgrading to a full branch status and that will allow us to tap into the Middle East market for our business.”

Replacing Schuilwerve as global head of commodities is Cristina Roberts. She is already a well-known face in the market as she has been part of Fortis’ commodities team since 1993. Before taking up this new role, she was managing director of energy commodities, and served in this role since September 2006. She was also the head of commodities in the Americas, a position she held since 2001 when she moved back to the US to relaunch the bank’s commodity business in this region.

Before joining Fortis, Cristina worked at The Chase Manhattan Bank, and worked in the credit audit division and commodity finance division.