Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has appointed Louis du Plessis as head of trade finance within the bank’s newly formed debt and trade solutions (DTS) division, effective October 1.

The Johannesburg-based role covers all trade products offered in DTS including traditional trade products, supply chain finance, escrow and product management in South Africa and across the African continent.

It’s a return to RMB for du Plessis, who left the bank in March last year after six years, most recently as trade and working capital head for financial institutions (FI) and non-bank FI segments, including trade risk distribution, insurance, escrow and the origination of trade funding.

He spent the last 18 months as managing director at Pallidus, a niche corporate finance advisory firm. He has previously also worked at Nedbank and Standard Charted, covering structured commodity finance, transactional banking, trade finance and debt across Africa.

“I am very excited to be joining RMB in this role, having been involved in numerous aspects of banking throughout my career, trade finance remains my passion,” says du Plessis. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow our trade capabilities across Africa.”

RMB’s previous head of trade finance, Minos Gerakaris, took on a new role at the bank three months ago, becoming sector head of insurance and financial services providers within the newly formed financial institutions group.