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YOUNG STARS OF TRADE FINANCE SHINE BRIGHT


Top students named at e-Learning Programme awards in Moscow

More than 700 trade finance bankers from 148 banks in almost all countries of operations are trained under the EBRD’s Trade Finance Programme (TFP) e-Learning Programme sponsored by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility. The high achievers of the latest intake were recognised at the TFP e-Learning awards ceremony in Moscow on 11 February. The fourth annual graduation ceremony for the EBRD’s TFP e-Learning Programme was held in Moscow on Tuesday as part of the Exporta 7th Annual Russia & Eurasia Trade & Export Finance Conference. Twelve EBRD countries of operations, including the newly joined Tunisia and Jordan, were attending the EBRD/ICC Graduation for the first time.

Thierry Senechal, Secretary of ICC Banking Commission Paris, awarded the certificates of achievement, along with the EBRD’s Rudolf Putz, Head of the TFP. Other special guests included Mr Per Fischer of Commerzbank; Ms Zuzana Franz from BHF Bank; Mr Andrey Ivanov of SBERBANK Russia; and Mr George Orlov of the EBRD’s FI team in Russia.

There were many amazing prizes, including a two week on-the-job internship at Commerzbank in Germany; a one-week on-the-job training at Banca Popolare di Sondrio in Sondrio, Italy; a fully paid attendance to ICC Austria’s Trade Finance Week; consisting of access to the 9th Global Conference on Bank Guarantees, the 8th Global Conference on Letters of Credit as well as Case Studies on Letters of Credit; fully paid attendance at the ICC Banking Commission Meeting that will be taking place in November 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey; and scholarships for a one week trade finance training course at Joint Vienna Institute in May 2014 in Vienna as well as iPads provided by Coastline Solutions, EBRD’s technological partner.

This year’s ceremony was a landmark event for many reasons, said Rudolf Putz, not least of all for the amount of interest and sponsorship it attracted from the trade finance press, technology providers, partner confirming banks and institutions. “For the first time in the history of the programme we had the Italian Confirming Bank Banca Popolare di Sondrio as a sponsor for one of this year’s top students.” Rudolf also spoke enthusiastically of GTR/Exporta Group, the hosts of the event. “They always ensure our graduates are well looked after and have opportunities to meet who is who in the sector at well-produced trade finance conference.” Members of the TFP team with sponsors of the event Top TFP students celebrate their success in Moscow

In addition, Rudolf acknowledged the support of various EBRD staff in making the event, and more broadly the TFP e-Learning Programme, such a success. “I would like to thank Gana Aleksic-Petersen and her team for their great support of our TFP e-Learning Programme,” he said. “It was originally Gana’s idea to complement our TFP advisory services projects and face-to-face training courses for TFP partner banks with an e-learning programme. Kamola Makhmudova, operation leader of the TFP e-Learning Programme, then developed this highly successful and popular project.”

The programme has garnered praise and admiration from banks and education institutions all over the world for its innovative ways of stimulating knowledge and bringing both developed and developing banks together. “The EBRD’s blended training programme is a great example how to embrace new technologies in education,” said Michael Bickers, Managing Partner of BCR Publications, who are a sponsor of the e-Learning Programme for 2013-14.

But it is the students, of course, that were the real stars of the event and they all seemed to get a great deal out of it, judging by some of the feedback received so far. The Olympic atmosphere and setting together with lots of snow seemed to be particularly enjoyable as was the opportunity to meet so many trade finance professionals in one place.

Gega Tofadze travelled to Moscow from Georgia and really enjoyed the ceremony. “The graduation was held perfectly, it could not be imagined better. The most important thing is that you give people the chance to connect with each other and make warm relationships between each other. Nothing can be compared to relationships,” said Gega, who is also a European Champion in karate and likened his success in the e-Learning Programme to winning a major sports competition.

Emilija Georgijevska Radovic, one of 2013’s top students, also praised the programme. “It’s a remarkable e-learning project which spreads knowledge in TF standards and rules and ensures equal understanding of the language of trade finance, like nothing else before it!”

Congratulations to all the award winners!

By Philippa Moore

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  • "The best online training I have ever seen for people working in trade finance and documentary operations."

    Alexander Kim Head of Trade Finance Credit Bank of Moscow OJSC, Moscow
  • "Experienced managers, like myself, can study the latest changes in the international rules and standards at any time."

    Olena Kozoriz Head of Financial Institutions and Trade Finance at Ukreximbank, Ukraine
  • "A perfect opportunity for improvement of one's professional skills in the world of trade finance."

    Mikhail Timofeev Head of Trade and Structured Finance Transcapitalbank JSC, Moscow, Russia
  • About two-week dedicated training course she received at Commerzbank in Germany

    "A great opportunity for me to continue my professional development and establish close relationships with colleagues in other banks."

    Zaure Salimbayeva Head of Structured & Trade Finance Sector, Corporate Finance Department at Bank CenterCredit JSC, Kazakhstan