The UK government has appointed its first director general for export: former head of Barclay’s corporate bank, John Mahon.

In his new role, Mahon will lead export policy development during and after Brexit under the department for international trade (DIT), reporting to permanent secretary Antonia Romeo.

Mahon was managing director at Barclays bank for 14 years and served as a manager at JPMorgan Chase for 15 years prior to that.

Commenting on Mahon’s appointment, the UK’s trade and export minister Baroness Rona Fairhead says: “Our aim is to help UK companies of all sizes to grow by enhancing the support we offer and connecting them ever-more effectively to market opportunities. John will play a crucial role in making this happen.”

The seasoned banker will co-ordinate support for British exporters to access financial, practical and promotional assistance throughout and after Brexit.

Mahon says of his new role: “I am excited to join the department for international trade at such a crucial time where it will be my task to help companies everywhere to take advantage of the international demand for British goods and services.”

As part of trade secretary Liam Fox’s post-Brexit strategy, the DIT has appointed five new trade commissioners to cement overseas trade partnerships, who started in their roles last week.

Crispin Simon is trade commissioner for South Asia, Judith Slater for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Anthony Phillipson for North America, Richard Burn for China, and Joanna Crellin for Latin America.