NatWest has hired Paul Pretorius as a director for trade origination and advisory, a newly created role.

Having started in February, Pretorius joins the UK-headquartered bank’s corporates and institutions division, where he is responsible for deal origination, structuring and client support.

He makes the move after a 15-year stint and various roles at pan-African lender Standard Bank in Johannesburg, including most recently as executive transactor in the solutions structuring group.

Now in London, he reports to Rowan Austin, NatWest’s head of trade origination and advisory for corporates and institutions.

“NatWest is going through a significant build phase and we’re doing a lot of work to invest in our trade and supply chain finance business, both in my team, covering large corporates and FIs, and also on the mid-market and SME side,” Austin says. “We’re ambitious in this area and we’re aiming to grow.”

Alongside Pretorius’ appointment, in recent weeks, the bank has also made an internal promotion, appointing Natalie Roberts as vice-president for trade origination and advisory.

NatWest’s trade and origination unit, now comprising seven members, focuses on trade finance, supply chain finance and working capital solutions for large corporates and financial institutions across the UK, Western Europe and the US.

Austin hints at the possibility of further hires to strengthen the team’s capabilities in the future.