Welcome to issue 40 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 12 June 2014. This issue is kindly sponsored by Markel International.

Index
  • Credit Insurance News and Reports
  • Industry Events and Offers
  • Business Info: Recommended Reports
  • Career Opportunities and New Appointments
  • About this issue's sponsor

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Companies are increasingly using trade credit insurance to protect themselves from the risks posed by struggling firms. According to Marsh, more UK firms - particularly large UK corporates - are using trade credit insurance due to concerns that potential interest rate rises could create a surge in corporate insolvencies. Tim Fisher, Leader of Marsh’s UK Trade Credit Practice, explained: “Many organisations are more risk averse as a result of the recession and are acutely aware that even a slight increase in bad debt and interest rates could derail their firm’s recovery as the economic outlook improves." Recent research by R3 indicates that while the majority of UK organisations are now optimistic about the economic outlook, 11% of firms are regularly using their maximum overdraft. Mr Fisher continued: “In our experience, companies are more likely to experience difficulties during the recovery when sales are rising. Lenders remain broadly risk averse, which can lead to a working capital crunch. We expect more firms increasingly to use trade credit insurance as they look to grow further throughout 2014.” To view Marsh's news release go to http://uk.marsh.com/NewsInsights/PressReleases/MarshPressReleases/ID/40663/Companies-Increasingly-Using-Trade-Credit-Insurance-to-Protect-Themselves-against-Risks-Posed-by-Struggling-Firms.aspx.

Global trade credit insurance exposure increases to record levels in 2013. The 72nd Annual General Meeting of the ICISA has reported some positive results for the global trade credit insurance in 2013. Although ample capacity and increased competition had a downward effect on premium income which decreased by -4% (to €5.89 billion), overall insured exposure increased to a record €2 trillion - an increase of 2.7% on 2012's figures. Furthermore, the slightly improved insolvency environment was reflected in a stabilised claims ratio of 48.8% (2012: 48.1%) and a 2.5% reduction in claims to €2.88 billion compared to 2012. Comparing the current situation with the pre-crisis (2007) period, newly elected president of the ICISA, Andreas Tesch, commented that: “members’ results exceed pre-crisis levels, with a 31% higher premium income and 15% higher insured exposure.” To view the ICISA's news release go to http://mercury.cs135.remotion.nl/websites/ICISA_2010/files_content/ICISA%20-%20PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20%20Industry%20Results%20-%20Annual%20Meeting%202014.pdf.

Insolvency World Cup 2014: who will score fewer insolvencies? Euler Hermes has published a new Economic Outlook with the results of the first ever Euler Hermes Insolvency World cup, the objective of which is to score fewer insolvencies. Game results were as follows: For the quarter finals, Germany beat China (-6% in insolvencies in 2014 vs. +2%), the UK beat Italy (-7%vs. +3%), France beat Brazil (-1% vs. +9%) and Spain beat the US (-23% vs. -10%). For the quarter finals, Germany beat China (-6% in insolvencies in 2014 vs. +2%), the UK beat Italy (-7%vs. +3%), France beat Brazil (-1% vs. +9%) and Spain beat the US (-23% vs. -10%). For the finals, Spain managed to beat the UK in extra time (-6% in insolvencies in 2015 vs. -5%). Goals were scored by both teams but the UK received a red card: the risk of a bubble is high (while Spain is finally seeing the light at the end of its own real estate bubble). Euler Hermes advises that although the motto for the world championship is that insolvencies will decrease by 8%, the total number of insolvencies will still be +23% higher than before the Great Recession. To view the full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.us/economic-research/economic-publications/Documents/economic_outlook_1207.pdf.

Atradius' research highlights that Eastern European companies show better payment behaviour than their Western Europe counterparts. Responses of European businesses to Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer highlight better payment behaviour in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe with 31.9% of the value of receivables extending past the due date, 3.5% remaining outstanding after 90 days overdue and 1.2% being written off as uncollectable. This compares to 37.6%, 4.9% and 1.7% respectively in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, Slovakian respondents were most impacted by overdue receivables and respondents from the Czech Republic by uncollectable receivables. Despite the differences in overdue and uncollectable invoices, the percentage of invoices more than 90 days past due in Eastern and Western Europe that are uncollectable is consistent at 34% and 35% respectively. To view Atradius' news release go to http://global.atradius.com/corporate/pressreleases/credit-risk-in-eastern-europe-likely-to-deteriorate-in-2014.html.

Coface expands CofaNet with two new initiatives: Policy Master and Cash Master. CofaNet Policy Master provides its users with a vision of their exposure to buyer-related risks by evaluating the actual outstanding amount per buyer from accounting data and comparing it to the amount granted by Coface. Suitable actions are then proposed to the client, such as preparation of the turnover declaration and alerts to notify the client of when any set limits are exceeded or to inform the company of approaching deadlines for the declaration of overdue accounts. CofaNet Cash Master supplements this first module and provides a secured certificate of cover to enable the company’s financial partners to receive accurate information on the quality of buyers and the breakdown of covered invoices. The launch of the two offers begins with Spain, and global roll-out is planned to start in June. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-pursues-its-strategy-of-innovation-expanding-its-CofaNet-online-offer-with-Policy-Master-and-Cash-Master.

Multinational firms are showing an increased appetite for trade credit insurance and stimulating market growth. GR Magazine has published an article, 'How multinationals are driving trade credit market growth', which reports that according to Marsh head of trade credit UK and Ireland Tim Fisher, the combined impact of global recession and globalisation has raised the profile of credit insurance and the risk mitigation it can offer to multinational companies. Mr Fisher commented: “Multinationals have shown the greatest uptick in appetite to purchase trade credit. We are providing advice on far more pan-European and global credit insurance solutions to companies and to a degree we are not chasing these opportunities down, they are approaching us." To view the article on GR's website go to http://www.globalreinsurance.com/how-multinationals-are-driving-trade-credit-market-growth/1408515.article.

Euler Hermes. The World Cup highlights the weaknesses of the Brazilian economy. According to Euler Hermes, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games have not and will not have a major positive impact on Brazil’s economy. In its latest economic research outlook, Euler Hermes reports that the two mega events will create more inflation than growth for Brazil. Lack of infrastructure, chronic under-investment, protectionism, high levels of taxation and a complicated business environment prevent Brazil from fully benefiting from the additional economic activity these events will generate.  Ludovic Subran, Euler Hermes’ chief economist commented: “While research on mega events has shown positive short-terms effects on real activity, there is often a negligible or even negative long-term result – and Brazil’s economy poses particular problems.” To view Euler Hermes news release with a infographic and link to the full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-report-World-Cup-highlights-weakness-Brazilian-economy.aspx.

Atradius forecasts that French insolvencies will now level-off after two years of increases. Atradius has published its latest Country Report on France and has advised that in view of the forecast of a modest economic rebound in France (GDP growth of 0.9% in 2014 and 1.3% in 2015), it expects an improvement to the insolvency environment in 2014. However, levels will remain more than 20% higher than in 2007. Agriculture, Chemicals/Pharma, Financial Services and Food have the best sector outlook. In contrast, the French paper sector's outlook is regarded as particularly bleak. To view Atradius' Country Report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/france/france-cr-overview.html.

Coface forecasts a 13% drop in SME insolvencies in Spain and stabilisation in France in 2014. Coface has published its latest Insolvency Barometer which advises that SMEs are over-represented in insolvencies in France and still more so in Spain, and that in both countries the level of SME insolvencies remains worrying high. However, the outlook for both countries is improving. Looking ahead, Coface forecasts that in Spain - under the assumptions of a slight upturn in consumption, a significant increase in exports of goods (+5.5%) and stagnating construction labour costs - SME insolvencies should fall by at least 13% in 2014. In France, the improvement will not be as significant, although the number of SME insolvencies should stabilise (-0.5% expected over one year), subject to a moderate pace of consumption , dynamism in exports of services and a slight increase in the cost of labour in construction sector. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-forecasts-a-13-drop-in-SME-insolvencies-in-Spain-and-stabilisation-in-France-in-2014. A link to the full Barometer is available from this page.

Atradius forecasts that the insolvency environment will improve in the Eurozone and the US, but may deteriorate across emerging markets. Atradius has published its latest bi-annual Economic Outlook which predicts that as a result of the changing economic environment, insolvency conditions are expected to improve in advanced markets but deteriorate in emerging markets. As a result, Atradius forecasts zero insolvency growth or even a reduction in insolvencies in all advanced countries that it tracks, except for Italy where a 5% rise is forecast. Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands are expected to experience the largest reductions in insolvency numbers. The level of insolvencies will, however, remain twice as high in the Eurozone as in 2007 and in the periphery the level will be almost four times as high. Of the emerging market regions, Eastern Europe and Latin America may experience an increase in corporate defaults in 2014, although from relatively moderate insolvency levels. To view Atradius' Outlook go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/images/stories/economic_outlook/Economic%20Outlook%20-%20May%202014.pdf.

Euler Hermes advises that the high-tech sector is 'a gem at the heart of Europe'. According to a Euler Hermes report, 'High Tech in the Netherlands: a gem at the heart of Europe', high-Tech, the largest of the nine “Top sectors” identified by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, saw its production volume decline by 1.5% in 2013, while that of neighbouring countries increased - notably Belgium’s by 15%. However, looking ahead, Euler Hermes advises that the sector will benefit from the improvement of the economic environment and the outlook for 2014 is more favourable. In addition, from an international perspective, the high-tech sector is well positioned; the Netherlands having been ranked fourth in the 2013 World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index. To view Euler Hermes' news release with a link to the report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-Report-High-Tech-Netherlands.aspx.

Coface survey reveals a stabilised corporate payment experience in Asia in 2013. According to Coface's latest survey of credit risk management in Asia Pacific, corporate payment experience in the region stabilized overall in 2013, with the exception of companies in Australia and China which saw a greater number of non-payments. Overall, 68% of companies surveyed reported that they had experienced overdues in 2013 (compared with 67% in 2012). In Coface’s experience, companies whose long overdue accounts (i.e. at least 180-days) represent more than 2% of their turnover could experience liquidity problems and run a high risk of non-payment to their suppliers. However, only 30% of the respondents had such overdues in 2013, signaling an improvement compared to the 37% respondents in 2012. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Stabilisation-of-corporate-overdue-payments-in-Asia-Pacific-but-new-worries-over-slowing-growth-in-China. To view the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/Publications/Corporate-Payment-Trend-and-Sectorial-Risk-in-Asia-Pacific.

BNP Paribas and Euler Hermes sign a national distribution agreement. BNP Paribas and Euler Hermes have signed a national distribution agreement that involves offering 32,000 corporate clients of BNP Paribas in France credit insurance solutions. Nicolas Delzant, chairman of the Management Board of Euler Hermes France, commented: "With 62,300 business insolvencies forecast for France in 2014, historically the highest level since 2009, it is essential that companies protect their development and assets from the hazards connected with the risk of unpaid receivables." To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/BNP-Paribas-Euler-Hermes-national-distribution-agreement-Credit-insurance-solutions.aspx.

Companies report increasing difficulty obtaining credit insurance for deliveries to the Ukraine. Commercial Risk Europe has published an article, 'German firms face credit insurance crunch for Ukraine business', which reports that German companies are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain credit insurance for deliveries to the Ukraine with cover off-limits for new trade deals at some of the leading insurers. Atradius' Senior Regional Director Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Thomas Langen, advised: "The situation in Ukraine is extremely problematic at the moment with the result that we are currently not in a position to assume any new credit cover for deliveries to Ukrainian enterprises." To view Commercial Risk Europe's article go to http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/3307/56/German-firms-face-credit-insurance-crunch-for-Ukraine-business/.
For more Commercial Risk Europe news you can sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter on their homepage at http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/.


Equinox Global launches Netherlands operations. Equinox Global, the Lloyd’s cover holder specialising in trade credit insurance, has announced that it has opened an office in the Netherlands and has appointed Frank Masteling as Head of Equinox Netherlands (for more information on this appointment see 'New Appointments' below). Mike Holley, Chief Executive Officer of Equinox Global, commented: “The Netherlands is an interesting and unique market which offers exciting opportunities for a specialist trade credit insurance company such as Equinox Global." The address of the new office is: De Corridor 5C, 3621 ZA Breukelen. The Netherlands.

Payment Practices in Asia Pacific. Atradius has published a video clip on YouTube in which Bart Poublon, Atradius' Head of Risk for the Asia Pacific region, talks about payment trends and behaviour in the region. As part of his presentation, Mr Poublon advises that the average payment term in the region is 30 days, with Australia having slightly shorter terms (22 days) while Taiwanese companies average 40 days. However, there is a notable gap between terms and Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), with the average DSO in the region being 56 days, and India recording an average DSO of 80 days. India is also the country with the largest bad debt- amounting to 7.7% of collectables. To view the clip go to http://youtu.be/6Pl4vdrJ2sM.

Video clips introducing Euler Hermes' new app and Simplicity product. Euler Hermes has published two new video clips on YouTube. The first clip (see http://youtu.be/LsB0_CF32SA) provides an overview of its recently launched Economic Research app. Features include:  analysis, views and opinions from Euler Hermes economists, access to country reports and sector analysis, interactive maps to monitor risks, country data and videos. The second clip (see http://youtu.be/H-XvN1Z3Lh0) provides an overview of Euler Hermes new fixed fee, low-admin Simplicity product designed for SMEs.




Industry Events, Offers and Training
2nd Annual North America Trade & Export Finance Conference, 19 June. New York, USA.
Global Trade Review returns to New York City in June 2014 for the next instalment of the North America Trade & Export Finance Conference, where business leaders from across the US and Canada will gather to discuss the key concerns of those conducting cross border trade and the role of the financial sector in securing business with high-growth emerging markets. Marking the tenth gathering in a decade of consecutive events for the North American trade and export finance sectors, the conference’s focus continues to mirror the new challenges set by an evolving global business environment. An in-depth agenda featuring selected expert speakers will provide cutting edge insight on those innovations enabling optimal efficiency across emerging market trade flows, the latest trends and collaborations in export and agency finance and the funding options available across the full private sector spectrum. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia. 23-26 June, Singapore.
This is the leading event for the export credit and political risk industry in Asia providing a unique opportunity to meet top executives from the region and internationally and hear the very latest industry news. Hear from 40+ speakers including representatives from WTO, KDB, ALCATEL-LUCENT, MIGA, DEUTSCHE BANK, SMBC as they focus on the latest issues in: trade, export & project finance; credit & political risk insurance; regional & global macro- economics & politics. For the latest brochure or to register, please visit: http://www.iiribcfinance.com/FKW52746CIN quoting VIP code: FKW52746CIN for a 10% discount.

GTR Asia Trade Finance Week 2014. 9-11 September. Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore.
Incorporating the 6th Annual Asia Trade & Export Finance Conference, Supply Chain Workshop, GTR Asia Leaders in Trade Awards and various networking events, GTR Asia Trade Finance Week is now accepted as the world’s premier trade finance gathering for discussing key regional and global themes. The event is expected to welcome over 600 high level delegates, including companies of all sizes from all manner of sectors. Recognising Singapore’s position as a global trade hub, considered as the crossroads for suppliers and buyers worldwide, attention will turn to both the significance of Asia’s regional and global trade flows, as well as casting a keen eye on some of Asia’s most exciting and thriving markets. With official support from IE Singapore, as well as over 35 global institutions, this is an event not to be missed. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference. 16 September 2014, Lugano, Switzerland.
Global Trade Review (GTR) is delighted to announce that the inaugural Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference will be taking place in Lugano, Switzerland in September 2014. Held in partnership with the Lugano Commodity Trade Association (LCTA) and reflecting Switzerland’s role as the world’s leading commodity trade hub, the event is ideally placed to provide timely insight on the significance of the global trading market and the challenges faced, both in the local markets and the opportunities faced further afield. Huge emphasis will be placed on the importance of networking, in which an abundance of such opportunities will be provided over the course of the event. Delegates will also have the opportunity to plan and organise private meetings with fellow attendees prior to the conference. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference. 16 October, Los Angeles. United States.
GTR are delighted to announce that the 3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference will be held in Los Angeles for 2014. With a city responsible for over $400 billion worth of trade and a state that contributes 11% of total US exports, this one-day conference will be a key meeting point for the producers, importers, exporters, financiers and service providers of one of the most dynamic trade centers in the world. As the only gathering of trade finance practitioners on the West Coast, hear industry leaders discuss the financing demands of corporate organisations as well as the complexities of seeking new opportunities in emerging markets. Focus will center on both the development of operational strategies and the technical aspects of trading and creating supply chains across borders. Given the high-level delegation in attendance, networking is not to be missed. Engage with decision makers before the conference through the GTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and finally at a cocktail drinks reception at a central Downtown location. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 22-23 October, Lagos, Nigeria.
GTR will be holding the 6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, for the first time. Given Nigeria’s rise to prominence and West Africa’s growing prosperity, the focus of the conference will look at the industries and sectors that have been instrumental in developing one of the most exciting regions in world trade. This two-day event will bring together delegates from corporate, banking and financial services organisations to discuss key market issues within agribusiness, hard commodities, risk mitigation and infrastructural development. Specialist speakers will engage with high level delegates through specific transaction case studies, roundtable discussions, onstage interviews, and live question and answer sessions. As the only dedicated trade, commodity and export finance conference in West Africa, this will be a networking opportunity not to be missed for anyone undertaking or looking to do business in the region. Meet with decision makers before the conference through the GTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and at an exclusive evening cocktail drinks reception. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Training
Understanding International Credit Reports: New training course. Various dates throughout 2014.
Graydon has announced that it is introducing a new training course, Understanding International Credit Reports. The one-day course will examine: report content by region (MENA, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Far East & 'Tax Havens'), sources of data (Credit Agencies, Public Registries, Local Agent in undeveloped markets & Law Firms), credit scoring/ratings and pricing. The course costs £599 + VAT (a 10% discount is offered to Credit Insurance News Digest readers) and will be held on various dates throughout the year. For more information, please go to https://www.graydon.co.uk/understanding-international-credit-reports-CIN-members.

STECIS Trade Credit Insurance and Surety (BASIC & ADVANCED) Training Seminars, 19-29 June 2014. The Hague, The Netherlands.
The STECIS training seminars are two-day events and are highly interactive. They cover technical and practical knowledge on Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds, the theory of underwriting, in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market. In addition, participants are asked to review case studies. The ADVANCED training seminars are set for 19-20 June 2014 and are suited to participants who have attended the basic training seminars and/or have at least 4 years of work experience. As the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) strongly endorses the STECIS training seminar programme, ICISA member companies receive a 5% discount on the total seminar fee. Companies (ICISA members and non-ICISA members) registering three or more participants to one training seminar, receive a 10% discount on the total seminar fee. For more information, please visit the website http://www.stecis.org or contact STECIS by sending an e-mail to info@stecis.org or call +31 20 528 5170.




Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
A reduction in average payment days of just five would release over £29 billion of working capital for all UK companies. Professor Nick Wilson of the Credit Management Research Centre at Leeds University and Taulia, supply chain finance solutions provider, have published a new report , Charting the Trade Credit Gap, which advises that 80% of daily business-to-business transactions are on now credit terms, and that the aggregate value of trade debtors on company balance sheets was £327 billion in 2012 - representing on average 58 days of credit. The report also finds that the gap between debtors and creditors has grown significantly to £75 billion in 2012, a notable contrast to the last UK downturn in 2004 when debtors exceeded creditors by £19 billion. Businesses are not only more dependent on trade credit than ever before but, the report stresses, the recovery depends on this credit being paid off to release cash so that companies can invest in growth. For example, a reduction in average payment days of just five would release over £29 billion of working capital for all companies, with £7.7 billion of that for SMEs.The report concludes by asking companies to sign a commitment to changing their behaviour with a Trade Credit Pledge. All signatories will receive Professor Wilson's full academic report, Trade Credit in the UK Economy, and the executive summary, Charting the Trade Credit Divide. For more information go to http://securetherecovery.co.uk/.

Retail businesses show the biggest drop in growth expectations. AXA Business Insurance's latest nationwide survey of SMEs has found that while the overall levels of optimism remain healthy, nearly one in ten fewer SMEs expect growth than a year ago. Retail businesses showed the biggest drop in growth expectations - down to 59% compared to 71% last year, while construction/industrial companies were looking more confident about growth this year, possibly a reflection of the fastest growth in house building that the UK’s seen since 2003. A potential rise in interest rates was frequently cited by survey respondents as a reason for reduced optimism – 41% of SMEs consider this a key concern. Following on its heels is the ongoing economic crisis in the Eurozone, which causes further worry for 25% of firms. Overall, the report found that the UK’s most optimistic business is likely to be Scottish, run by a female under 35 and in the personal services (e.g., cleaning, hairdressing, dog walking) sector. To view AXA's news release go to http://www.axa.co.uk/newsroom/media-releases/2014/smes-buoyant-but-feeling-less-optimistic-about-future-growth-and-recruitment/.

UK growth to reach seven-year high in 2014. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has advised that it is upgrading its GDP growth forecast from 2.8% to 3.1% for 2014 – the highest rate of growth and the first time that annual growth has been above 3% since 2007. The BCC  has also upgraded its 2015 forecast from 2.5% to 2.7%, although the 2016 forecast remains unchanged at 2.5%. John Longworth, BCC Director General, cautioned that although the upgrading of the forecast is ‘great news’, Britain still has a lot of work to do to ensure long-term growth prospects. The expected slowdown in growth in the next two years is a warning sign that the UK is overly reliant on consumer spending as a driver of growth. To view the BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-economic-forecast-uk-growth.html.

UK Economic growth reached a record high in May. The CBI has advises that its latest growth indicator suggests the UK economy has continued to perform strongly going into the second quarter of 2014, with the pace of growth predicted to remain firmly above average for the coming quarter as well. Growth strengthened in retail sales and business volumes for the business & professional and consumer services, with manufacturing output continuing to grow at the same solid pace as the previous two months. Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, commented: “What’s encouraging is that growth is becoming more broad-based, with solid increases in business investment over the past year. This bodes well for the year ahead." However, she added that there are risks to the UK’s outlook from global developments, and noted the impact that the situation in Ukraine and Russia could have on global commodity prices. To view the CBI's news release go to http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/05/record-high-economic-growth-cbi/.

A study of micro-enterprises in the UK. Bibby Financial Services has published a new survey, Livelihood businesses in the UK: A study of micro-enterprises, which examines the make-up, cashflow position and general business expectations of micro-enterprises for 2014. According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), in 2013, there were 4.9 million private businesses in the UK – a rise of 102,000 year-on-year - with SMEs accounting for 99.9% of private sector businesses. Over 95% of all private sector businesses are classified as micro-business (1-9 employees), three quarters are sole proprietorships and partnerships and 20% have between one and nine employees. 50% of micro-businesses have experienced cashflow issues over the past 12 months. To view the full report go to http://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/what-we-do/products/forward-finance/Forward-Finance-Whitepaper.aspx.

UK Retail sales grew at their fastest annual rate for 10 years. According to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales grew at their fastest annual rate for 10 years in April and were up 6.9% compared to April 2013. The ONS' data also shows that the food sector grew by 6.3% compared with April 2013 - the strongest annual growth since January 2002. Feedback from food store retailers suggested that a better than expected Easter and better weather conditions helped to boost sales. Non-food sales saw similar annual growth, up 6.5%. But this was a 0.4% fall compared with March. For more information go to the ONS' website - http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rsi/retail-sales/april-2014/stb-rsi-april-2014.html.

World business leaders select UK as the second most desirable country in the world for businesses to expand into. According to a new report, The art of connecting global business, by BT, the UK has been selected as Europe's most desirable country, and second in the world, by companies looking to expand their business overseas. Overall, 33% of the business leaders surveyed identified the US as the 'most desirable', followed by the UK (30%), China (29%), Hong Kong (27%) and Germany (26%). The UK is also appealing because of its IT security and governance, the US for the ability to roll-out service level agreements to the same standard as an organisation’s headquartered country, and China for the IT skills of its workforce. The strongest levels of interest in the UK come from the developing ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) and ‘MINT’ (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) economies. To view BT's report, infographic and executive summary go to http://www.globalservices.bt.com/uk/en/whybt/ifb-research.

Manufacturers strongly upgrade growth forecast - EEF/BDO survey. According to the latest quarterly survey published by EEF and BDO, Britain’s manufacturers have substantially increased their growth forecast for 2014 on the back of continued buoyant conditions, up to 3.6% from 2.7%. This is significantly ahead of the rest of the economy, despite GDP growth being upgraded to 3% from 2.6%. The EEF/BDO Q2 Manufacturing Outlook survey also reveals strong trading conditions evident in all regions and sectors. Tom Lawton, Head of Manufacturing at BDO commented: "Now that Manufacturers have been freed from the shackles of recession they are proving their importance to the UK economy by leading it out of the downturn, outperforming both the service sector and GDP more generally. The motor vehicle industry is showing particular strength but the most encouraging aspect of this recovery is that it is so robust in nature with all subsectors showing an increase in output." To view EEF's news release go to http://www.eef.org.uk/releases/uk/2014/Manufacturers-strongly-upgrade-growth-forecast---EEFBDO-survey.htm.



Career Opportunities: New Opportunities
Client Manager, Aon Trade Credit. Reading. Competitive salary, plus a comprehensive benefits package.
Aon is currently recruiting a Client Manager to join our Trade Credit team based in Reading. As a Client Manager some of your key responsibilities will involve: Under instruction and direction of Client Directors, helping with renewal, retention and growth of existing accounts with effective client relationships and ongoing servicing needs. Working on a portfolio of accounts to ensure that relevant information is shared among client team and required actions are taken to meet clients' needs. Acting as a contact within a broking team for a portfolio of clients to ensure client needs and expectations are met. Dealing with Client and Insurer day to day matters arising e.g. chasing/questioning/broking credit limit decisions, following up progress on reported buyers overdue in making payment to client for goods sold and delivered on credit terms. Assisting with preparation for Policy renewal. Where appropriate liaise with Aon network on Global Client outward/inward business. Developing and improving the day to day client relationship and client experience. Providing advice to clients and colleagues on market developments and sharing knowledge of market trends to enhance the overall value proposition. As a Client Manager your skills and qualifications will ideally include: Educated to A Level standard or equivalent, with work experience in Credit Management, trade finance, and or international affairs. An understanding of, and interest in, the Insurance market. CII progress and an understanding of the client including risks, strategic and financial drivers would be advantageous An enthusiastic and innovative Team player, with the ability to handle significant workflow through efficient time management. To apply, please contact Samantha Cook at samantha.cook@aon.co.uk or call 0207 0860181. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Risk Underwriter, Euler Hermes. London. Salary DOE, plus flexitime, non-contributory pension, share incentive scheme and additional benefits.
This is a superb opportunity to work within our London team as a Risk Underwriter. We are looking for someone who is flexible, adaptable and excited by the challenge of working in a fast paced environment for the Market Leader in Credit Insurance. Open to innovation, you will ensure the most effective credit limit service in terms of quality of decision, turnaround times and communication within our London team. If you have market insight and believe that the client should be at the centre of everything you do, and can demonstrate your credit risk assessments skills, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Responsibilities: To effectively monitor and implement prompt limit decisions, monitoring and providing quality communication within agreed service levels. To assess credit limits consistently and correctly within prescribed times in order to ensure renewal, new business targets and loss ratios are achieved. To provide quality responses in respect of agreed reschedulings so that our customers are given informed business decisions and losses are mitigated. To reassess proactively business procedures and recommend changes on an ongoing basis to reduce costs and to improve customer service. To meet clients, buyers and brokers (internationally if required) in order to keep loss ratios to a minimum, maximise cover and ensure renewal.
Requirements and Key Skills: Degree standard of education (preferably business based) or equivalent. A good understanding and knowledge of UK Risk Underwriting and/or credit management. A demonstrable understanding and knowledge of export underwriting, export risk assessment, export finance, political risk, export practice and export credit management would be advantageous. Experience to undertake analysis of financial, economic and other information to assess credit risk. This will include knowledge of financial statements and an ability to compile spreadsheet accounts and cashflows where appropriate. Knowledge of EHUK's products, the credit insurance.Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Insurance Consultant in Direct and Bank, Euler Hermes. Manchester to cover West Yorkshire. Salary DOE, plus exceptional commission scheme, non-contributory pension, car, laptop, i-pad, blackberry, share incentive scheme, discounted gym membership, discounted healthcare and additional benefits.
Summary of Role: If you are looking to develop and grow your already exceptional sales talent within a thriving company then look no further. In order to succeed in this role you will need experience in a target driven sales role within professional services. You will possess a positive, pro-active attitude along with a passion and drive to succeed. This is a challenging role for an experienced business to business field sales person.
Responsibilities, Requirements and Key Skills: The job holder's responsibilities will include: delivering on target good quality business revenue, representing Euler Hermes in a professional and ethical manner, managing a local database of prospects and introducers and providing accurate management information on a regular basis. Candidates should have a proven track record in business to business field sales and an exceptional level of business acumen, commercial awareness and strong relationship building experience, with both potential clients and business introducers, Candidates should also be: corporate in both manner and appearance, have the ability to read and perform basic analysis of a set of accounts, be experienced in consultative selling at board level, have the ability to present technical information effectively with experience of using CRM systems.
Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Account Executive, Leeds Salary up to £50,000 dependent upon experience.
An exciting opportunity has arisen within a specialist Broker to join their established Credit Insurance Team, set within their Leeds based offices. The successful applicant will be responsible for developing a book of Credit Insurance clients through existing previous relationships and targeting new clients from a range of industries. The role is a client facing role and you will be responsible for generating leads, making and attending appointments to win the business. You must have the ability to communicate effectively to all different levels, have excellent sales skills and ideally have a proven track record in Credit Insurance from a broker or insurer perspective. Commercial Insurance candidates will be considered also who have a keen interest within Credit Insurance. This could also be the ideal opportunity for an Account Handler looking for the next step to being Account Executive. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your CV to helen.spriggs@search.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying)

Trade Credit account Executive, London (ref: 23582378). Salary £35,000 - £70,000 per annum, negotiable.
An opportunity now exists within the growing Trade Credit team of a major UK broker. You will have specialised in the field of Trade Credit insurance and have a broker based client facing/servicing background. You might also have experience/knowledge of Political Risks business although this is by no means essential. Our client's accounts are corporate although they will also consider individuals with SME Trade Credit account experience. If you have a client following, this will always be an advantage and obviously, our client will respect your restrictive covenant. Prospects and training with this key player are second to none. Salary will be dependent upon experience and what you have to "bring to the party". If your background/experience genuinely matches this vacancy requirement, you should call Leslie James Recruitment directly on 0207 8732271 to highlight your application. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Associate Director, London.
An exciting opportunity as arisen with a leading insurance broker based in the city. My client is seeking an Associate Director to join their Political Risk team. Working with a new team Director on new business, planning, client development, presentation, enquiries and placements. You will be broking with both Lloyds and company markets, exposure will also likely to be gained with multilaterals. Utilising their political risk platforms to best client advantage. You will be assisting the team in managing new and existing policies, in particular premium endorsements. Ideally you will be a university graduate having gained 2.1 in Economics, Law or Social Sciences. Fluent in other languages will also be desired. You will have at least 5 years experience in the Political Risk Market from either a broking or underwriting in the banking and trading space. Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills with a commercial desire to develop in a hard working and dynamic team. If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience or would like to discuss this further, please call Paul Hurrell on 0207 220 4777 or email paul.hurrell@reedglobal.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Broker, London.
An exciting opportunity as arisen with a leading insurance brokers based in the city. My client is seeking a Political Risk Broker to join their ever growing team. Initially working with a new team on client development and enquiries, you will be broking with both Lloyds and company markets and exposure will also likely to be gained with multilaterals. Developing relationships with these markets will be key as will developing a feel for good risks and bad and benchmarking pricing in order to service client better. Ideally you will be a university graduate having gained 2.1 in Economics, Law or Social Sciences. Fluent in other languages will also be desired. You will have at least 2 years experience in the Political Risk Market from either a broking or underwriting background. Strong interpersonal skills with a commercial desire to develop in a hard working and dynamic team.If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience or would like to discuss this further, please call Paul Hurrell on 0207 220 4777 or email paul.hurrell@reedglobal.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Account Handler, Credit Insurance, Birmingham £16,000 - £24,000 dependent upon experience + Benefits.
I have an excellent opportunity to work for a leading National Broker to work as an Account Handler in their Birmingham branch. The role is to deal with Credit insurance and to help manage a very healthy book of business. My client requires an individual who can provide support to a successful Account Executive with a large book of business. Have the ability to conduct renewals with clients and give instructions to Insurance providers. Develop positive and professional relationships with Insurers and Underwriters and promote effective communication. Previous experience within the Insurance Industry is a must preferably within Credit Insurance however someone from a Commercial Insurance background with an understanding of Credit Insurance will be considered. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your CV to  helen.spriggs@search.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Still Open
Credit Claims Team Leader, HCC International, Rearsby, Leicestershire. Attractive salary and benefits package.
HCC International Insurance Co PLC is a specialist insurance company based in Rearsby, Leicestershire (10 miles north east of city centre) is seeking to recruit a Credit Claims Team Leader. This role in our Credit Insurance Division involves: working with a team of claims technicians to deliver an excellent claims service to our customers and brokers, managing the claims process, reviewing and implementing procedures, managing and training a small team of technicians, assessing claims and preparing reports. The ideal candidate is likely to be an experienced insurance claims assessor, preferably with experience of credit insurance but may be an experienced credit controller or similar looking for a new challenge. Previous supervisory experience is preferred. We offer an excellent working environment together with an attractive benefits package. If you would like to apply for this position, please telephone Jane Thorpe on 01664 423268 or email jthorpe@hccint.com for an application pack. Closing date for completed applications is 20th June. No Agencies please. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Business Development Manager (Trade Credit Insurance). Hong Kong.
Our client is an MNC and a leader in the credit insurance industry. As the Business Development Manager, you will have opportunities to contribute to the success of the Company by identifying new business opportunities and achieving portfolio targets through acquisition of new customers and nurturing of existing customer relationships. Key Responsibilities will include: acquiring new customers based on leads given by Market Management and generating own leads, renewing existing policies, identifying cross-and-up-selling opportunities and ensuring proper pricing. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in any business-related discipline and five years’ solid experience as a successful salesperson with proven records. Previous work experience in financial services, for MNCs and in a multicultural environment is a definite advantage. A good command of English, Cantonese and Mandarin is also required. For more information and to apply please contact Amanda Tan at +852 2169 0878 or email amanda.tan.cv@searchasia.com.hk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Account Executive (Ref: SM/13765), Reading. Salary to £35,000 + car allowance, bonus and Benefits.
A national broking organisation is looking to recruit an energetic, driven and ambitious Trade Credit Account Executive to add to their already impressive client servicing team. The job holder will develop and service an account of Trade Credit business and deal with both SME and Corporate Trade Credit risks. To apply for this role, candidates should be self motivated, driven, organised and ambitious and will be either an existing Trade Credit Account or Development Executive, or someone with excellent commercial insurance experience. Sound technical knowledge of Trade Credit Insurance is a must, while experience of political risks this would be advantageous though it is not essential. Experience in providing specialised sales advice in the insurance market thorough understanding of the insurance market and products and sound relationship building skills are also required. The salary is dependent on experience, but will be market-leading, and flexible to attract the very best candidates in the market. The bonus scheme is superb and uncapped, and is complimented by a comprehensive benefits package to include Pension, Group Life, PMI, Free Car Parking and generous holiday allowance. To apply for this position please email Stephen Mallaband at stephen@cavendishmaine.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Underwriter, Atradius Trade Credit Insurance. Greater New York City Area. Competitive salary and benefits.
Working in a cross-functional team that includes colleagues experienced in policy structuring and relationship management, the key responsibilities of this position include: Overseeing risk underwriting activities relating to new business and customer retention in the New York office including the establishment of suitable underwriting decisions balancing our customer’s business objectives with sound risk management principles, meeting with customers and prospects to understand their business goals and credit philosophy in order to structure suitable policy structures that meet Atradius' growth and profitability targets, effectively communicating Atradius' risk underwriting strategies and limit decisions to customers, prospects, and their brokers. The ideal candidate will be self-directed, ambitious, and interested in building Atradius’ profile in the non-cancelable underwriting segment of Trade Credit Insurance. We are seeking someone with a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or economics; and at least 5 years’ underwriting experience in Trade Credit Insurance covering either cancelable or non-cancelable policy structures. Our compensation package includes a competitive base salary commensurate with experience, bonus potential, and attractive benefits including healthcare & 401K plan. To apply, please email Doug.Collins@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Insurance Account Executive, West Midlands. Generous basic salary plus a wide range of company benefits.
This prestigious broking firm has a branch network spanning much of the UK, with strong presence locally, seeks an experienced Credit Insurance Account Executive to join its Regional Head Quarters in West Yorkshire. This firm has a solid commitment to the Yorkshire region, with credit insurance very much recognised as one of its core business activities. As such, this role boasts an enviable level of job security in the current climate. As a Credit Insurance Account Executive, responsible for the day to day management of a diverse portfolio of clients, you will advise upon the most appropriate credit insurance programme to suit their requirements, using your influence with specialist credit insurers to secure comprehensive levels of cover, at a competitive premium. You will also work with colleagues in the marketing team to actively prospect and secure new business. Building a strong level of professional rapport with your clients, you will create a culture of credit control best practice, dealing with limit extensions and providing ongoing advice in relation to day to day enquiries. You will also oversee claims arising within your portfolio, supplying the relevant claims MI to insurers when preparing renewal reports. To assist you in the proactive management of your portfolio you will need to work in close conjunction with the in-house Credit Insurance Broking and Admin Teams.It is essential that you have extensive experience within credit insurance, ideally gained in a broking environment. Exposure to other products under the wider ‘Credit Risks’ banner, such as Political Risk or Surety, would certainly add weight to your application. In addition, our client is eager to hear from those individuals who have made progress, or can demonstrate a commitment to, gaining professional qualifications from the Chartered Insurance Institute or Institute of Credit Management. For more information and to apply please go to http://astoncharles.co.uk/opportunities/credit-insurance-account-broking-yorkshire-insurance/#sthash.eiLhxLE8.dpuf or contact Richard Jones at RichardJones@astoncharles.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).



New Appointments
The Berne Union has announced the appointment of Kai Preugschat as the new Secretary General of the association. Kai Preugschat, a German national, has a distinguished career in credit insurance and in the banking industry. He is currently Deputy Global Head Structured Trade & Export Finance at UniCredit Bank Group. Mr Preugschat will assume his role with the Berne Union in mid-summer.

Equinox Global has announced that it has appointed Frank Masteling as Head of Equinox Netherlands reporting to Mike Holley, Chief Executive Officer of Equinox Global. Frank will be responsible for building Equinox’s trade credit business across the Netherlands and overseeing all aspects of its offering to clients. He joins from Atradius where he was Head of Special Products Northern Europe, underwriting single situation policies, XOL-policies, structured credit and political risks.

The ICISA has announced that its members have elected Andreas Tesch as their 39th President and Jos Kroon, CEO of Nationale Borg, Vice President. In addition, Coface and Lombard (South Africa) were elected as members of the Management Committee, which now consists of Atradius, Coface, Euler Hermes, Lombard, Nationale Borg, SCOR, QBE and Zurich. In his acceptance speech, President Andreas Tesch, Chief Market Officer and member of the Board of Atradius, praised the leadership of his predecessor Jim Davidson.




About this issue's sponsor: Markel International
Markel's trade credit team offers expert knowledge of commercial and sovereign counterparty risks across a wide variety of trade sectors.
We have extensive experience of providing global solutions for clients, but can also tailor policies for specific credit risks, markets and contingencies.
There has been a marked increase in demand for trade credit insurance to support clients’ requirements for specialist solutions including capital relief related products, trade receivable securitisation and supply chain finance business, all being areas where Markel has a particular expertise.
Because of the complexity of trade credit risks which, amongst other things, span political, cultural, legal and social differences, it is important to choose an insurer that understands all the facets of international as well as domestic trade, and has a detailed understanding of insurance issues in a wide variety of contexts and geographies.
Markel International’s trade credit division provides just such a service.

Our capacity and tenor limits are as follows:
CR: USD 120m per obligor group/84 months
CF: USD 50m per obligor group/60 months

Our ratings
                                                                                                     A. M. Best           Fitch                  S&P
Markel Corporation                                                                   A                             A                         A
Markel International Insurance Company (MIICL)              A                             A                         A
Syndicate 3000                                                                          A                              -                         -




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