Ed Harkins has left Fieldstone Africa and joined specialist export finance advisory firm GKB Ventures as a managing director.

Harkins was previously head of export credit financing at Fieldstone, an independent investment bank and financial services provider in energy and infrastructure in Africa. He had been there for three years.

His new position will see him continue to focus on the export credit agency (ECA) market.

Harkins comments on his move: “It makes huge sense to join what is an already successful platform. We punched above our weight before and I can see this continuing going forward, particularly as mainstream banks continue their retreat from the sector. There is more and more demand from buyers and suppliers in these markets looking for a trusted and independent advisor to raise affordable financing for their project. GKB Ventures is already operating very successfully in this space.”

Harkins joins founder and managing director Gabriel Buck at GKB Ventures.

“I’m really excited to have Ed on board,” says Buck.

“We previously worked together for some 10 years. It was a powerful combination having delivered many billions of US dollars of ECA funding as advisor and distributor to the market. The ECA business is about having a clear, focused strategy and the right people. People with the proven skills to deliver bespoke solutions to both exporters and buyers. Ed joining will be a real asset to the firm. It’s going to be exciting times.”

GKB Ventures currently has in excess of US$1bn under mandate across a number of sectors, with a particular specialisation in the African markets.

Harkins has 18 years of experience of working in structured export finance. He started his career as a solicitor at Simmons & Simmons, specialising in cross-border transactions. He then moved to Barclays Capital, where he was head of emerging markets on the capex financing solutions team, focusing on Africa. After leaving Barclays, and before joining Fieldstone, he advised UKEF on their direct lending programme. He is also chair of the financial services committee for the Business Council for Africa.