Andrew Freeman, previously executive director responsible for forfaiting in the Middle East at WestLB for two years, has joined Malta-based Fimbank in London. Freeman was laid off with quite a few others in WestLB regional offices in Shanghai, Zurich and Tokyo (see GTR, May/June, p19). He joins his former boss, Margrith Ltschg-Emmenegger, who left as global head of forfaiting at WestLB in February to head up and expand Fimbank’s trade finance operations.

Freeman will concentrate on Middle Eastern business and will initially be based in London with a possible move to the region likely later. His remit, like the rest of Ltschg-Emmenegger’s team, is very much to build the factoring product as well as forfaiting. He says: “There is still a tremendous opportunity for forfaiting and factoring in the Middle East and globally for that matter. I can see a lot of potential to promote these type of products through a small bank like Fimbank, focused on trade, and in a growth phase.” He starts on July 1.

“His experience in forfaiting and also in the Mena region is extremely valuable and we are very happy that Andy decided to join us,” comments Ltschg-Emmenegger. We are a growing institution both with regard to trade finance products as well as countries. Therefore it will be necessary to take on more staff in the future. We will be focusing on our core business, trade finance, and expand with regard to products and markets to diversify and globalise.”