Thursday, 5 October 2017

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal at SMBC

Dear Members and Friends,

Believe it or not, we’re already approaching the end of October and we’ve entered the final stretch of 2017. If memories of our sTand-out Edinburgh conference are starting to fade (but how could the image of so many men in kilts ever fade?) rest assured that next year’s conference in Cape Town will be an equally glorious experience. Planning has started in earnest with registration opening much earlier than usual.

ITFA is privileged to count most of the major Chinese banks as its members (and they were out in force in Edinburgh) so developments in that country are always of particular interest to us. Recently S&P lowered China’s long-term sovereign rating to A+ from AA-, citing that the prolonged period of low credit growth imposes risk on the country’s economic growth. 

One of the criticisms ratings agencies are usually faced with is the lag in their actions. It is a known fact that China's debt has been accumulating over the past years and thus a ratings downgrade on such rationale could have been announced earlier. However, S&P cited in its report that China’s monetary policy is largely credible and effective - implying that in case of need, monetary politicians will adjust policy accordingly. China still has a huge potential over the longer-term, primarily driven by domestic demand which means that growth should be sustainable going forwards. However, the reverberations of a Chinese downgrade is yet to be quantified, not on the sovereign per se but on the larger Emerging Market issuers.

On a more jovial note, in this month’s Newsletter, TFR Editor-in-Chief, Katharine Morton, summarises her experience at the ITFA Annual Conference describing it as ''a Little Bit of Magic''. Also, TXF Editor-in-chief, Jonathan Bell, discusses one of the hot topics addressed during the ITFA Annual Conference ''Digitisation of Receivables: In the Spotlight at ITFA Edinburgh Conference''. Another interesting article is the introduction of one of the new ITFA Board Members, Duarte Pedreira - ITFA Head of Young Professionals and African Committee. ITFA is pleased to announce two new institutions joining as ITFA members - CCR Manager and LiquidX Inc. Our regular feature - Chart of the Month, contributed by Dr. Rebecca Harding of Equant Analytics looks at ''the aftermath of Germany’s election: how does trade help?''

May I remind you all that with the Christmas season just around the corner, the ITFA Board is pleased to invite all ITFA members to attend our annual ITFA Christmas Cocktail Party. In the coming days each member organisation will be receiving the invite, so we would greatly appreciate if the you could RSVP by latest 01 December 2017 (more details on this are at the end of this newsletter). As always, we encourage you all to attend this valuable networking opportunity, so please…save the date! May we kindly point out that this event is strictly for ITFA members only and access to the event is restricted to confirmed guests only.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email,

Best wishes,

Sean Edwards

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A LITTLE BIT OF ITFA MAGIC by Katharine Morton, TFR editor-in-chief

Katharine Morton, TFR editor-in-chief, shares fond memories of the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s Edinburgh spectacular
My journey started in King’s Cross early enough to take a snapshot of Platform 9 ¾  without the queues of tourists. Edinburgh, the other end of the train journey, was where JK Rowling created the wizard child, Harry Potter. In his opening address, Sean Edwards, chairman of the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) reminded the more than 200-strong Edinburgh audience of ITFA of that fact and he promised some “ITFA magic” at the event. He delivered to his word.
This was the 44th annual trade and forfaiting conference event (the third since the association added the ‘T’ for trade). Forfaiting opened up emerging markets to trade, as Edwards pointed out, but all participants in the financing of trade have had to move on while remaining true to the ethos of the expanding organisation (expanding both in terms of membership, geography, and content, from fintech through supply chain finance and insurance).
And that ethos is all about community, as one banker told Edwards, “I’m picking up on a great vibe here. People know each other, like each other and trust each other.” A video gave a snapshot of a busy year for the organisation. Among the achievements have been the August 2017 adoption of URF 800 by UNCITRAL.
IFA from 1999-2014, then ITFA
If the motto ‘staying enthusiastic through the years’ was appropriate for the organisation in its 18 years of operation, then the keynote economics address was a little more sobering in tone. Jeremy Lawson, chief economist at Standard Life, started with an optimistic note before tempering it. The upbeat note was his view of the healthy cyclical recovery of the global economy, albeit a little moderated of late. The caveat was the importance of the geopolitical environment.
Lawson asserted that the recovery has been driven as much by emerging markets as developed ones. “It’s a bipolar world at the very least – the Chinese economic policy cycle is very important for the rest of the world.”
China’s aggressively accommodative fiscal policy and looser monetary policy has helped support commodity prices, Lawson said. He was also relatively sanguine about the US economy in terms of its fundamentals. Even though the US cycle has entered its 33rd quarter of growth, “growth cycles don’t die of old age. They die because of changes in policy or imbalances.”
He asserted that the EU economy is going from “strength to strength” because of favourable monetary conditions and fiscal policy not being a drag on growth.
Elsewhere, Lawson argued that most economies are moderately above trend growth with a benign backdrop.
However, and it’s a big caveat, central banks are about to shift their balance sheets significantly and are “starting to dilute the punch” – with signals of shrinking balance sheets and tapering asset repurchase programmes by as much as US$2trn in the next 15 months. If not handled properly there could be a risk of monetary policy mistakes – which Lawson called a mini taper-tantrum. “I don’t know how self-sustaining growth is in the global economy,” he said.
Digital receivables: things are getting better (and soon-ish)
The landscape of digitising receivables is one that could be about to change dramatically. For sure, that’s a story trade finance professionals can be forgiven for saying they have been hearing for a while now, but the prospect of secondary market liquidity in trade finance receivables could be set to improve.
An interesting discussion, moderated by ITFA’s Edwards, was kicked off by LiquidX’s Glenn Kocher giving his view of the current ‘flavours’ in the market. More and more, players can see how to use the technologies and how they are embedded to complement and augment the existing product and origination effort. Investors in trade instruments can be broadly categorised into a very few, large, well-established ones with a big distribution capability and the rest without much breadth.
Kah Chye Tan from CCRManager (see his interview with TFR from July/August 2017), looks to make distribution easier for banks, but there is no ‘silver bullet’. He argued there needs to be change and more discipline and better use of technology in four ways. First, the market needs better market pricing for investors to invest, which requires better transparency from banks. Second is transparency in terms of registering trades, and third is better settlement of trade finance instruments, and fourth is someone to act as a custodian.
Angus Scott from Euroclear discussed the challenges arising from lack of standardisation leading to lack of scalability. In many ways trade finance is a very simple asset, simpler than many bonds, but the difficulty in part is that the instruments are short lived, small ticket size with multiple jurisdictions. Standardisation and technology should be able to help. The ways things are done elsewhere in the securities markets may not need to be exactly the way things need to be done with trade, and the solutions don’t have to be on the blockchain.
Scott explained how simple settlement/post trade actually is. It has four different elements – the notary function (integrity of eg, how many ‘things’ there are to be recorded; the settlement itself which is exchange of title of eg assets for cash. The big deal is what is cash and how to take out the risk (liquidity after all has a cost). The third element is custody – which is basically a fiduciary record keeping. Fourth is financing – how can you finance it and reduce the cost of capital of holding the things?
The message to the ITFA conference was clearly ‘watch this space.’ The other conclusion was the difference between digitising and getting rid of paper. Certainly nobody on the panel thought that even though trade could and should be digitised, paper is going to disappear any time soon.
Cross fertilisation with BAFT
No ITFA conference would be complete without discussion of documentation. An important update in the Master Participation Agreement (MPA) was given by Stacey Facter from BAFT and Paul Coles, ITFA Board Member - Market Practice. Facter talked about the cross fertilisation of BAFT and ITFA on the project which looks to resolve for both English and New York law (with English Law as the original starting point for the revisions). Stacey thanked ITFA for driving the MPA update process thanks to the ITFA members survey, which formed the basis for the working group discussions. Coles noted that there may be some resolution by the end of the year, although he pointed out that it has so far taken 10 years to get to today’s positions.
What do corporate treasurers want?
The second day opened with a timely reminder of the needs of the end user of trade finance products – the corporate. Markus Sablatnig, EMEA treasurer at Amcor, a global specialty packaging company based in Australia, provided the right note when he told the audience in private detail what he was looking for in trade finance banks, highlighting the nature of supply chain finance being more of a marathon than a sprint.
Later in the day the important issue of IFRS 9 accounting standards (the successor to the bane of corporate treasurers’ lives IAS39) was raised by PWC’s Iain Kirkpatrick. He gave an enthusiastic wakeup call to the audience that the accounting standard goes live in 2018. Good news was that there is unlikely to be much difference in the judgements of the big four accounting firms as the standards board has been trying to give consistent answers.
Banking Africa the right way
Doing it right in Africa was a topic that exercised a lively panel on how best to bank the continent. A show of hands revealed that around 70% of the audience had undertaken trade in Africa, but for a further show of hands of how many organisations really understood how to do trade finance in the continent, the numbers dropped dramatically.
When the discussion inevitably turned to the thorny issue of bank derisking in Africa, moderator Duarte Pedreira from Crown Agents Bank, saw a strong case that in Africa, it was risk avoidance on the part of the banks rather than reducing risks. A case in point, Pedreira said, was his experience in Sierra Leone. There, the largest local bank made a very big effort to become compliant with KYCC and other regulations, hiring large numbers of temporary staff and in the space of three months have turned their situation around. “It’s staggering. The willingness is certainly there and if you tell them it’s a risk issue and give them the possibly to come up to standards, they are willing to invest and put in time and effort – then if we are not then banking them, it’s because of not wanting to do it from a revenue point of view. If you have minimum revenue thresholds – they jump at the opportunity.”
Private insurance markets had a role to play in the market, and there are few countries the insurance markets won’t go into, and some of the panel saw opportunities in bank derisking from the perspective of insurers. All agreed though that the areas suffering most from the estimated global US$1.5trn trade finance gap (estimated at around US$210bn in Africa) was the MSME sector.
For sure, good governance, effective local banks and audited (single book) accounts were all seen as important. Whether technology can be part of the answer is a difficult question particularly given the lack of data scientists in Africa. ITFA is stepping up with an Africa committee which Pedreira will chair. Education and communication are certainly key to improve the potential for accessing trade finance in the future.
Trade finance insurance drew centre stage as a topic and the thorny issue of how insurance compares or contrasts with guarantees, risk participations, surety bonds and other risk sharing techniques for credit risk mitigation. The current challenges and benefits for banks of each product were analysed by the panel chaired by Geoffrey Wynne, partner at Sullivan & Worcester, including the welcome advances provided by the new UK Insurance Act and the opportunities of risk participation agreements (RPAs).
Questions from the audience showed that the perception that ‘insurance doesn’t pay’ still weigh heavy from the Argentina debt crisis. Nonetheless, times have moved on, as have the wordings and documents and the panel were quick to assert that would be like comparing apples and oranges.
From financial wizardry to gala magic
It’s rare that men get to dress up more than women at special events. The ITFA Gala Dinner provided such an opportunity as all the men were given the chance to don kilts and sporrans and the full highland garb, while us women wore tartan sashes. Hopetoun House, overlooking the misty Firth of Forth provided the magical setting. A lone bagpiper set the evening off and before long we were touring the splendid house, eating haggis, drinking scotch whisky and dancing Scottish reels. The evening was topped off by a full pipe and drums marching band. Truly magic. Thank you ITFA.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

INTRODUCING OUR NEW BOARD MEMBER - Duarte Pedreira, ITFA Head of Young Professionals and African Regional Committee

ITFA would like to introduce Duarte Pedreira, one of the 2 new ITFA Board Members. Duarte will be heading the Young Professionals and the African Regional Committee (which he will set up from scratch).

When back in 2005 I was called into a meeting with my CEO at the Portuguese Banif Bank I was very far from realising how close I was to making a move from the capital markets into the exciting world of trade finance. Having started my career as a hedge fund trader upon completing my masters degree in international securities, investment and banking, I joined the Banif banking group as they opened their first office in London. I spent my first year with Banif trying to make the bank known to its counterparties in the City, as well as building a client network among hedge funds and mutual funds for the bank's Iberian and Latin American capital markets business. That meeting was to change the course of events, as the aim was to decide whether the bank's London representative office should be transformed into a full branch specialising in trade finance and forfaiting.

A few months later, Banif had hired a team of experienced trade financiers and I found myself in the trade finance operations team learning how financing was done in the real world. I then moved to the origination team, seeing myself in the vibrant pre-crisis market, actively originating and distributing trade finance paper from Eastern Europe and Africa. With Banif still being a rather small player in the market, the team decided to specialise in smaller target markets where they could make a bigger impact, and I took on business development in geographies such as Azerbaijan and Georgia, where I would later develop a sizeable network of clients.

With the crisis looming and as 2008 and 2009 unfolded it became clear that Banif London’s stay in the trade finance market would not be prolonged much further and in 2010 I was invited to join the team that was setting up Standard Bank in Angola. It was far too good a proposition to decline as I was conscious that working and living, as boots on the ground, in an emerging market could give me the edge I needed to really make an impact and develop a real understanding of trade finance. I stayed in Angola for two years and experienced what were the most hectic years of my life. There was a small group of us leading the whole bank, and we worked an average of 14 to 16 hours a day. I had to intervene in everything related to transactional banking, from building strategic plans to managing sales, products and channels, and even drafting letters of credit. Our efforts paid off though as we built a spectacular team and gained market share incredibly quickly. It took us less than two years to break even and we even got the first ever trade finance award ever given to an Angolan bank. The success of the Angolan team prompted me to later integrate the Standard Bank team at head office in Johannesburg leading trade finance sales for the African footprint (ex-South Africa).

Due to a number of difficulties related with the family move to Johannesburg, we decided to return to London and I got involved with Caspian Sea Capital, a company that specialised in providing trade finance structuring advisory services to corporates and banks located in places like Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, as well as some Sub-Saharan African countries like Angola, Mozambique, Togo and Nigeria. Determined to get as much exposure to different trade finance functions as possible, the next stop was the insurance market and I joined the credit insurance team at AIG. That team was probably one of the best I have worked with. AIG really empowers underwriters and that made me deepen my risk awareness as suddenly I was mandated to sign off on significant exposures in a very empowering way. This really shaped up the way I assessed counterparties and transactions alike, placing even more emphasis in knowing my client in the truest sense of the expression. It was also the time when we created the insurance committee at ITFA, which was when I first took an active role in the Association. The committee quickly gained a lot of relevance and exposure and for me it was great to be part of that.  

The move to Crown Agents Bank came unexpectedly - when Crown Agents Bank first approached me my initial reaction was to resist the call to go back to banking, as I wanted to settle in properly in the credit insurance world. Notwithstanding, the calling from an Africa-driven greenfield trade finance project was too strong. At Crown Agents Bank I recruited a team to drive trade finance in Africa and other emerging markets where the bank historically had a client base, such as the Caribbean, and focused the team in providing a rather plain vanilla but at the same time solid product suite built around letters of credit and bank risk.

Having joined the ITFA Board at the Edinburgh AGM I took on two main projects – Young Professionals and Africa, both of which are very close to my heart. Mentoring and coaching are things I love doing not only in the workplace but also in a non-work-related context, particularly with students and young people in general. I feel it is a way to give back the support I had to develop myself as an individual and within that, as a professional. Having been part of the team that set up the Martin Ashurst Trade Finance Mentorship Forum (Martin Ashurst was my friend and mentor at Banif), it was a natural move for me to manage the initiative, which will become an absolutely core part of the Young Professionals initiative, together with lots of training and other dedicated initiatives to boost young professionals’ participation in the industry. The Africa committee is also a natural evolution within the ITFA offering and marks the commitment that the Association has to the development of its presence in the continent. With the conference taking place in Cape Town in 2018 it becomes imperative that ITFA finally expands in a definitive and determined way its membership base in Africa.

Monday, 2 October 2017


One of the many hot topics under the spotlight at the ITFA annual conference, this year held in Edinburgh, was the subject of digitisation and standardisation of receivables, the role that fintechs are now having in that space and the impetus being given to the use of platforms for the distribution of trade-related assets on the secondary market - TFR Jonathan Bell
Receivables platforms have been in the market for some time, but session moderator ITFA chairman, Sean Edwards, asserted  that, in a crowded fintech ecosystem, for many it was not clear how they worked and what benefits they are bringing in for banks.
Responding to this, Glenn Kocher of LiquidX, an electronic platform for working capital and cash flow optimisation, said that it was still early days in the space, although a lot more was starting to happen now. He noted that the working capital platform C2FO had been very successful in the corporate sphere. In addition, he also pointed to Greensill which has a partnership with Thalia, and which he stated had a “powerful differentiated model”.
“A lot of these companies have started out with their own proposition, but have evolved and/or have been complemented by others,” said Kocher. He also noted that there were two distinctive types of classes; those with a large distribution in bases and desks (and there are only a few examples of these), and the rest – those that are looking to complement the market. The latter provide significant operational efficiency and the benefit of new technology.
On the topic of the actual distribution of assets, moderator Edwards turned to Kah Chye Tan of Capital & Credit Risk Management (CCRManager), which is involved in selling trade assets to other banks through a digitised platform. Asked if the model is trying to make the distribution of trade assets easier for the banks, Tan responded: “I don’t think there is silver bullet. LiquidX represents an important proposition in the primary link of the transaction. That link is important. Banks do not have unlimited capacity so the sell-down is important.”
Tan noted that there is estimated to be around $1.7 trillion of cross-border trade debt capacity being traded annually. And with that huge volume, there needed to be much better governance standards involved. In addition, because there were still only a handful of trade fund managers investing in trade finance, there were various things that the industry needed to do and provide to help make the asset class more attractive, including:
 - better knowledge of market pricing before an investor will invest. Fund managers are unlikely to put up with such an opaque market;
 - better transparency of the players involved – including credit history;
 - better cycle and packages of transactions;
 - Proper custodian regulation. Currently, the Chinese walls that operate in the trade finance space are not as disciplined as they are in the capital markets and this needs to improve. There needs to be an independent market.
Taking the debate on, Richard Tynan of TradeIX stated that his company had had to build a ‘rules engine’ in order to deal with securitisation or synthetic distribution. He stated: “We are trying to connect all the different ecosystems because there remains an absence of a single standardised asset class. In three years we will be a very different proposition.”
Moderator Edwards pointed out that there were legal characteristics to a receivable that may not lend itself to secondary trading. Tynan responded by saying that what he was seeing was not so much around distribution but around the internationalisation of receivables. However, he pointed to the great strides being made by the R3 financial consortium working on this with blockchain applications. Kocher pointed out that the technology was acting as the enabler in the absence of a proper legal framework.
Turning to Euroclear’s Angus Scott, Edwards asked: “Trade instruments are many. What type of trade settlements do you think you can deal with, and what do you think the challenge is?
Tynan responded: “Many of the challenges revolve around non-standardisation. Many of these assets are small-ticket, short-lived and are non-complex – but there are many different forms of them. So how should we deal with them?
First, through standardisation – but this is going to take a long period of time. Second, with technology. The technologies available today reduce the cost of dealing with the complexity. Artificial intelligence (AI) is much cheaper now. And both of these two elements are starting to come together in this space.”
He also noted that there were major issues still to look at closely – not least minimising risk, the issue of liquidity, and the custodian system – but with these in place there was good reason to be optimistic about the overall evolution. “We are a facilitator operating in many different environments. It is early days, but we believe we will be able to make a difference. So, it is interesting times ahead,” he declared.
Edwards remarked: “New technology does give us hope that we can deal with assets in a way that we haven’t before – to enable the digitisation of trade receivables. Will we wake up and find that it has all changed?”
Scott responded: “Euroclear is a great big database. The promise of blockchain is that it can automate many of the processes needed. It’s still a system that has to built, tested and proved. It is not a panacea.”
The 44th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) held in Edinburgh this year, brought together 200+ delegates from all around the world - bankers, financiers, insurers, lawyers, fintechs for two days of debate, meetings, and networking together with organised functions. It is one of the best gatherings of its kind. Next year the event takes place in September in Cape Town, South Africa. See you there!


The ITFA Board is pleased to announce that two new members have joined ITFA.

CCR Manager is a fintech company providing a platform to banks, insurers, and funds to transact in the secondary trade finance market. The platform provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers with accompanying features such as workflow management that handles transaction activities from inception to conclusion, and comprehensive data analytics to compliment the secondary market.

Ka-Kit Man will be the main delegate for all ITFA related matters.

LiquidX Inc. is the largest electronic marketplace for the sale and purchase of trade finance and working capital assets. Through its leading technology platform and a diverse and flexible pool of capital, their transaction-based marketplace provides a transparent platform for tapping the capital markets to deliver best price execution for the asset class. 

The marketplace is open to all participants including large corporations, banks, asset managers, hedge funds, insurers and family offices to trade risk and to invest in the trade finance and working capital asset class. Their seller base is diverse and deep with credits from the largest global companies, and their buyer base ranges from the largest global banks to community banks, hedge funds, and global asset managers. 

Glenn Kocher will be the main delegate for all ITFA related matters.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

CHART OF THE MONTH - Dr Rebecca Harding, Equant Analytics

The aftermath of Germany's election: how does trade help?

Germany’s election at the end of September was predicted to be dull. Angela Merkel was to be re-elected, possibly on a larger share of the vote, and the country would be able to focus on defining its role at the heart of a re-generated Europe. In the end, the Alternative für Deutschland won 12.6% of the share of the vote – the largest share of parliamentary representation of any extreme right wing party since the World War II. Germany’s parliament is now divided between six parties and the centre right CDU-CSU and the centre left SPD parties have been given a warning by voters that “business as usual” is not enough. Their votes shrank to 36% and just over 20% respectively.

However, it is possible that trade offers a solution to at least one of Germany’s persistent problems: under-investment in some of the infrastructures in the country that are weak and that may have contributed to the sense of social as well as economic exclusion that the voters in the eastern regions exhibited. In 2016 Germany posted its largest trade surplus ever at some USD 230 bn – 15% higher than China’s at USD 200 bn (Figure 1). Germany’s budget surplus, to which the trade surplus contributes, was EUR 18.6 bn in the first half of 2017. Much of this surplus has been achieved through its adherence to stringent, and well-documented, austerity measures. But even in Germany economists and politicians alike are beginning to worry that the surplus is unsustainable: the broadband and road infrastructures in the country are under-invested, for example, and some fiscal stimulus would further boost the European economy.

For the full Trade Outlook click here.


London Publishing Partnership
October 25th 2017 * 170pp paperback *£9.99

ISBN 978-1-907994-72-2


Some 16 months ago, almost to the day, on the rise of populism, Britain voted for Brexit. Almost simultaneously, the campaign for the election of the 45th President of the United States began to tilt towards economic nationalism and anti-globalisation rhetoric. In the intervening period, the language of trade has become increasingly belligerent: since 1990 we have talked about the mutual benefits of trade, opportunities for all and the role of trade in economic development. Now politicians talk about our trading partners in the EU as ''enemies,'' the de facto ''trade war with China,'' ''protectionism,'' ''walls,'' and ''national interest.'' This linguistic metamorphosis has turned trade from a benign instrument of economic growth and development to an explicit tool of coercive foreign policy. In short, trade has been weaponized and this is dangerous for everyone working in trade or trade finance.

Trade has always been strategic in economic terms but is increasingly strategic in foreign policy terms too. This, of course, links it directly to power and influence. As we have seen over the last few months in relation to the tensions between North Korea and the United States, trade is being used as a coercive tool to achieve policy objectives. Donald Trump himself describes this in the best possible way in his tweet: ''I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars in trade a year yet…they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!

And in fact, it is this use of social media as tool for stating a foreign policy objective that uses rhetoric to engage people in the same agenda. Former trading partners become “enemies” and the language of war becomes commonplace in relation to trade.

There is no way of under-stating the importance of this historical juncture. Are we really seeing the “end of globalisation”? Or will the checks and balances of the multi-lateral world that we have understood for the last 30 years win over?

This book looks at how trade is weaponized. It looks at the literal weaponization using uniquely available data that allows us to see trade in dual use goods between the world and North Korea, or trade in arms across the world and its impact on political stability. It looks at how trade patterns themselves proxy well for state strategies aimed at increasing influence through coercion.

But it also looks at the figurative weaponisation: the language around trade and how this is creating a febrile atmosphere that has the potential to unite populism and economic nationalism in an escalating rhetoric that damages relations between countries. The book is a wake-up call to everyone in the sector to acknowledge that the risks of this are very high for the world. On one hand, heightened rhetoric leads to increased tensions and the danger of miscalculation on either side. On the other hand, growing antagonism towards multi-lateral and global institutions tilts the world towards bi-lateralism and trade war. Both outcomes should be avoided at all costs.


With the festive season only a few weeks away, we will shortly be sending out the invites to the ITFA Christmas party which is going to be held on the 11 December 2017 at the Victorian Bath House, London

The invite will be sent to the Main Delegate of each member institution, whereby s/he can then nominate up to 5 delegates to attend the event. We kindly ask all ITFA Main Delegates to RSVP by sending an email on by no later than Friday, 1st December 2017. 

We look forward to another celebration, and encourage all ITFA members to attend this invaluable networking opportunity. May we take the opportunity to remind you all that this event is strictly for ITFA members only and access to the event is restricted to confirmed guests only.

So the date!