Alan Wong has left his post as managing director for Hong Kong and Southeast Asia at Tradewind International Factoring to run his own advisory business.

Wong has taken up the CEO role at Global Trade & Supply Chain Finance Advisory, based in Hong Kong, after working at Tradewind since September 2018.

Prior to Tradewind, Wong spent more than six years with Bank of America, where he was most recently director of global trade and supply chain finance. He has also held similar senior roles with Swift in Hong Kong and CIBC in Canada.

Wong initially started the advisory business at the end of 2017. Nine months later, he got an offer to work for Tradewind.

“I thought ‘this is a good opportunity for me to learn about the factoring space’,” he tells GTR. “In the past, I always worked with multinational corporations and mid-market companies when I was with Bank of America, and others, and then, the opportunity came where I can work with SMEs. I got to know the characteristics of the SME market, how it works and what firms’ needs are.”

Wong says he made the decision to leave Tradewind and ramp up his business as he believes smaller companies are looking for advice on how to navigate Covid-19 in terms of access to financing.

“We see that the opportunity is there more now than before,” he says. “SMEs need advice on how to structure financing that will be beneficial to them. And a lot of SME entrepreneurs lack the financial skills to negotiate with bankers, so we can advise them on how to navigate through the financing maze and help them to get a better idea of the market.”

Wong says the firm also examines the wider macro-economic picture when tailoring its advice. “For example, if companies have cross-border accounts receivables spread out in different countries, we will take a look at the portfolio and see where we can help them mitigate risks.”

Global Trade & Supply Chain Finance Advisory is currently a team of three and Wong adds that he is in discussions with other business associates to join the company.