Former investment bankers Christoph Gugelmann and Nils Behling have launched Tradeteq, a cloud-based platform allowing trade finance originators and institutional investors to connect and transact.
The founders initially worked together in FICC distribution at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. They then joined Trafigura’s asset management arm, Galena, sourcing, arranging, and funding transactions for trade and other assets.
Recognising that trade finance presents compelling risk-return features for alternative investors, the team successfully set up trade finance-focused asset manager Thames Path Capital. Nonetheless, they were repeatedly faced with market gaps blocking wider distribution: appropriate technology infrastructure, transparency, and standardisation. With Tradeteq, they aim to provide a scalable solution to these issues. Tradeteq supports trade financiers in moving to an originate-and-distribute model, matching this with institutional investors’ appetite for low-risk trade finance assets.
“We really have seen trade finance asset distribution from every angle, and we understand the investor side extremely well. This is what gives us the edge to distribute trade finance assets from banks to institutional investors,” says Gugelmann.
Since Tradeteq's soft launch last year, US$130mn of assets have already been processed through the platform, covering obligors in seven international jurisdictions. The company is based in London and sees Europe as an important market, but is in the process of setting up a Singapore office, and has global ambitions.
“We see tremendous demand for trade finance assets on the institutional investor side, but actual volumes traded are still extremely small. Tradeteq provides the first integrated technology solution for origination, distribution, due diligence, execution, and management of trade finance investments,” explains Behling.