Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger, managing director and global head of forfaiting at WestLB in London has decided to call it a day after 12 years at the bank and its predecessor West Merchant. She has taken up a position at Fimbank in Malta (not SIM Bank as one trade journal erroneously reported) as executive vice-president with a mandate to “try to grow the bank internationally maintain and develop further the already excellent reputation established,” she says.

Fimbank has traditionally concentrated on Middle East and African trade business something that the former WestLB forfaiting head aims to open up and expand more globally.

“My dream would be to be a “one-stop shop” for exporters with a fairly global/international presence and being perceived as a top quality provider not the biggest but one of the best by reputation,”

Lütschg-Emmenegger would not be drawn on the outlook for WestLB’s forfaiting and trade business. But she comments that she left the bank “Due to the lack of resources at WestLB and its focus being on other products I could not really see any further positive development there whereas at Fimbank trade finance/forfaiting/factoring will be core products that we would like to bring to the next level. It will be very exciting and satisfying for everybody, the customers, the team as well as the shareholders! I think it will be a challenge but I look forward to it. I think that Fimbank is a lovely bank, however, and size especially in innovative trade finance is not always an advantage but rather flexibility and understanding the products. So, yes it will be a huge change but change is good.”

Geoff Sharp, executive director and global head of trading, has stepped into Lütschg-Emmenegger’s role. He joined WestLB in October 1997 following 17 years experience at ANZ Banking Group Ltd specialising in corporate and international trade finance, including assignments in Melbourne, London and New York.

Sharp says: “WestLB remains highly committed to the forfaiting business and continues to expand in that area. WestLB is very appreciative of the contribution made by Margrith in over 10 years with the bank which has seen WestLB Forfaiting establish itself as market leader.”

Read the first interview with Lütschg-Emmenegger since her move exclusively in GTR’s next issue (March/April).