Paolo Provera on what Change will mean for the IFA and Trade and Finance
Dear Members and Friends,
As I write this today, we stand in the midst of change.
Change, not just for us at the IFA, but indeed right across the world as political events unfold that signal challenging days ahead for world trade and indeed for all of us in trade and forfaiting.
Change that makes us at the IFA an even more meaningful and valuable organisation for all its members in the midst of current events.
Political events across the world, from Europe to Russia to the Middle East, are signalling that we may face continued uncertainty in the world of trade going forward. Who knows, they might even be signalling a new order in the coming years. As we wait for these to unfold and their consequences to be clearer and more decipherable than they are today, we need to be aware of what the change might mean.
At the IFA, we've recognised this and as a starting point we're presenting you, in this newsletter, with an interview with Per Fischer, Head of Financial Institutions covering CEE, CIS, Russia, Turkey, Baltics and Mongolia at Commerzbank.
And now about the IFA! As an organisation that exists and delivers value to its members we stand at a crucial juncture. We're committed to our fundamental objectives of delivering value, through knowledge, competence and networking and to do this we're taking several new steps. We're redefining our Mission to make ourselves the foremost source of value to our members and we're now embarking upon an ambitious round of restructuring our internal systems to truly deliver.
To do this we've appointed Teresa Casal as an Adviser & Special Projects. Teresa is currently finishing her Masters in Executive Coaching with an interest in Organisational Change, at Ashridge. She was formerly with Banif Bank, Standard Chartered, Standard Bank and Santander and is well-known to many of you. She will advise on our transition to make the IFA the most sought after body in Trade and Forfaiting.
The first step towards this is this newsletter which we now commit to bring out on a monthly basis. We're also revamping our website to make it an interactive platform that can deliver not just information but knowledge; not just names of members but true networking that can ease both deal making and career growth among our members. A date for the launch of this exciting web platform will be conveyed to you soon.
I am also excited by what is in store for all of us at the IFA in the coming weeks and months. We have the 41st Annual Conference in Barcelona coming up from the 10th-12th of September. Numbers are growing and we expect around 200 delegates. The focus as you all know is Africa – a most promising continent for trade and finance, especially forfaiting. We are delighted to welcome ATFA to our conference and hope that you will be able to join them at some of their events.
I am equally excited to announce the creation of a team led by Johanna Wissing (Barclays Bank), which will be presented at the Conference in Barcelona, formed by young people with the aim to bring youngsters into the next generation of trade and forfaiting. We think this is an important initiative and I know you will lend them all your support "The youngsters are coming!"
At the IFA, we plan to be at the forefront of the change; offering news, knowledge and insights drawn from across our wide and expert member-base, all of you, to deliver through our new platforms, the web and this newsletter.
Our success as an organisation can only come about if we all set about it together and co-operate to make our new platforms a success! Teresa, with some of the members of our Committee, will be in touch with all of you to see how you can contribute with knowledge and insight to deliver to our goals. She will also be at our conference in Barcelona, where I invite you all to interact with her and offer suggestions on how we can make the IFA your global organisation for Trade and Forfaiting.
See you in Barcelona in September!