A group of global trade and supply chain finance specialists has launched Prism Global Partners, a new London-based boutique consultancy.

Initial founding partners of the new firm are industry stalwarts Craig Weeks, Alexander Malaket, James Emmett and Robert Handfield.

Weeks takes on the role of managing partner. An industry consultant and advisor, Weeks currently serves as a member of the trade finance advisory council of the US Department of Commerce. He previously worked as senior vice-president and manager of the international banking group of US Bank, where his responsibilities included managing the trade finance, international financial institutions and supply chain finance teams. His career also includes time spent at Citi and JP Morgan.

Malaket is the president of Opus Advisory Services International in Toronto and a founding partner of ESG Validation. He also currently serves as deputy head of the ICC Banking Commission’s executive committee, in addition to contributing to numerous boards and advisory committees.

Emmett had previously been with HSBC for 25 years, most recently as CEO of HSBC Europe and group general manager. He left the bank in September last year, and now serves as CEO and MD of Diem Networks (formerly Libra Networks), in Geneva, Switzerland.

Handfield is the executive director and founder of industry-university partnership the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, and the Bank of America University distinguished professor of supply chain management at the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management.

GTR understands that there are more founding partners, but that their contractual restrictions from prior roles prevent them from being listed as such for the time being.

The firm’s key areas of focus are international trade, including supply chain logistics, market entry and development; trade financing and risk mitigation, including traditional trade and supply chain finance; and trade-related policy and advocacy, comprising engagement with entities such as the UN, ICC and World Trade Organization.

“Prism Global Partners was established with a view to providing a world-class proposition across trade – logistics and supply chains, trade financing and risk, as well as trade-related policy,” says Malaket.

“We are launching now in anticipation of demand across the three pillars. Trade-based economic recovery from the Covid crisis, the reshaping of trade corridors post-Brexit and post the US election, together with significant focus on trade policy, digitisation and supply chain resiliency combine to demand the executive-level expertise brought together by a boutique firm like ours,” he tells GTR.

“We see sustainable trade as a fast-growing area of priority that will cut across the three pillars of activity, and are likewise well placed to advise on the technology dimensions of global trade.”

The firm’s client base includes corporates, banks and non-bank financiers, international institutions and multilateral bodies, governments and the public sector, and industry and sector associations.

The firm’s advisory committee includes former Citi trade head John Ahearn, now vice-chair of Falcon Group and CEO of Falcon America – and he too will soon be joined by more colleagues.

“We will complement the senior leadership team with associates, as well as formalise some strategic partnerships over the coming months to build critical mass and delivery capacity,” says Malaket.

According to Weeks, the firm’s strong team is a key differentiator.

“We have a good mix of mix of practitioners and professional consultants,” he tells GTR.

“A lot of consulting firms don’t have practitioners. But, for example, for banks looking to get into supply chain finance, having access to people who have actually been in those trenches, done the work, and managed teams, is something that brings a really valuable perspective to what we offer.  We can aggregate talent across the three pillars of physical trade, finance and risk, and policy, depending on what the client needs.”