John Vowell and Vince Woods have been hired by Nedbank London to form a structured trade and commodity finance desk in London reporting to Rudolph Van Schalkwyk, head of structured trade and commodity finance in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vowell has previously worked at Sumitomo Bank and also headed a structured trade finance desk at Standard Bank London covering Africa, Middle East and Asia. He went on to set up Euro Trade, a dedicated trade finance and forfaiting business, on behalf of an Indonesian conglomerate.

Since 2000 Vowell has been an independent trade finance consultant working with numerous corporate clients and most recently with a large private equity/hedge fund. He will focus on origination and is “looking forward to the challenge of contributing towards expanding Nedbank’s reach to European traders, producers and manufacturers with an African focus”. Woods has been head of trade finance at Sumitomo Bank and at Toronto Dominion Bank in London. He has also been responsible for structured trade finance at UBS for the Middle Eastern and Latin American regions.

Woods has held senior positions at Banco Santander and at Natexis and has most recently been at HSH Nordbank for the last four years. “John and I have worked in partnership before and have developed many innovative, successful structures that were useful, particularly for traders, producers and manufacturers in Europe,” says Woods.

Vowell adds: “Nedbank London is busy expanding its business offering in London and, as part of its strategy, will tie-in with Nedbank’s greater focus on Africa, particularly in the trade, resources and project finance arenas. Our focus within Nedbank London is to expand its business in the commodity trade finance market with particular emphasis on African facing business. As one of the major banks in South Africa, Nedbank has an ability to understand and support business in many African countries. Nedbank has been in London for 100 years and will complement its relationships in the City with those it has built in Africa.”