Opic has appointed James Polan, a long-time director of project finance at the group, as vice-president of the new small and medium enterprise department.

The department will be responsible for Opic’s direct loan programme which provides financing to small and medium-sized US businesses with annual revenues under US$250mn. The small business centre, a special initiative for small businesses with annual revenues under $35 million, will also be part of the new department.

Polan has been with Opic since 1995. Since 1997, he served as a director of project finance, and from 1995 to 1997 he was a senior investment officer. He has also served as acting vice-president of the department.

Also at Opic, Polan provided leadership on the agency’s African and small and medium enterprise initiatives, and played a key role in the creation of Opic’s small business centre, where he served as approval officer for loan requests.

Before coming to Opic, Polan was managing director of Ngami Group in Gaborone, Botswana; served as chief executive officer for Healthcare Holdings (PTY) Ltd in Gaborone; and was manager of the Projects and Property Development Divisions for the Botswana Development Corporation Limited.