Author: Anita Hawser, Gordon Platt

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Trade Finance Providers

 The Power Of Global Connections
 by Gordon Platt

  Best Trade Finance Providers of 2015

  Winners Profile

Supply Chain Finance Providers

 New Entrants Fil A Gap by Anita Hawser

 Best Supply Chain Finance Providers of 2015
Winners Profile



Best Global Supply Chain Finance Provider—Bank: Standard Chartered

The emerging markets bank continues to stand out from the rest of the pack thanks to the fresh approach it takes to supply chain finance. Most bank-led supply chain finance (SCF) programs are buyer-centric, and the large global trade banks typically serve the needs of large buyers rather than smaller suppliers in emerging markets, where the need for more affordable forms of financing is perhaps the greatest. This financing gap is likely to be exacerbated by Basel III, as smaller, less creditworthy customers in markets with low credit ratings become increasingly unattractive from a capital perspective to most banks. Standard Chartered is not immune from the impact of Basel III; however, its SCF model is focused on the end-to-end supply chain, including Tier 1 and 2 suppliers and distributors and dealers, and financing decisions are based on a more in-depth analysis of the longevity and strength of a supplier’s or distributor’s relationship with a buyer instead of on their balance sheet.

Best Global Supply Chain Finance Provider—Nonbank: PrimeRevenue

The ability to scale with buyers and suppliers needs is important in any SCF program, whether it is bank- or nonbank-led. PrimeRevenue stands out in this respect, with an extensive geographical footprint covering most of the major trading hubs in Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa, and its support for transactions in excess of 22 currencies. Suppliers can access more than 50 funders (banks, hedge funds, capital markets investors and captive financing arms of large corporates) on the PrimeRevenue OpenSCi platform, which has been leveraged by such leading global brand names as Volvo, Whirlpool and Sainsbury’s to extend payables and to enable their suppliers to leverage their credit standing to obtain more affordable financing.

Best Supplier Support and Enrollment: Orbian

Orbian continues to stand out for the positive feedback it receives from suppliers on the simplicity of its enrollment process and supplier agreement, and for the fact that funders can be easily added or removed without negatively impacting suppliers—who do not need to change bank accounts to receive funding. Orbian says it implemented 12 new buyer programs in 2014 within 30 days of initiation.

Best Payables Supplier Financing Solution: Platform Black

UK-based Platform Black, a relatively new entrant into the supply chain finance market, leverages the latest Cloud-based technologies to enable suppliers to more easily sell their invoices or accounts receivable to a multitude of funders. Although exchanges for selling receivables is not a new concept, such solutions make it easier for suppliers to upload invoices to access a wide range of funders, including nonbanks, which is increasingly important in light of the impact regulations like Basel III will have on banks’ ability to fund supply chain finance programs. Unlike some bank-led solutions, Platform Black offers funding to cover 100% of the invoice. The advantage for suppliers is that they can access financing more easily and quickly rather than having to meet strict criteria put in place by a buyer-led, bank-supported SCF program.

Best Pre-Shipment Financing Solution: Standard Chartered

Although a number of banks say they offer pre-shipment financing, most SCF programs are still post-shipment with financing provided on the basis of buyer-approved invoices. In the case of pre-shipment financing, there are no approved payables, so extending financing at a much earlier stage in the supply chain requires a deeper understanding of the buyer/supplier relationship. Standard Chartered says its financing model is well placed to provide finance at both the pre-shipment and post-shipment, pre-acceptance stage, including distributor financing.

Best Customer Implementation of Supply Chain Financing Solution: IFC and Levi Strauss—Differentiated Pricing for Sustainability in Supply Chains

Supply chain financing is typically used to help less-creditworthy suppliers gain access to more-affordable forms of financing and to strengthen supply chain relationships. However, the International Finance Corporation, Levi Strauss and GT Nexus, a Cloud-based trade and supply chain management platform, have taken this concept a step further. Leveraging the IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance program, which provides short-term financing to suppliers and SMEs in emerging markets, Levi Strauss is able to reward suppliers that meet its sustainability (environmental, health and safety, and labor standards) metrics by extending earlier and more-affordable financing to them. The higher the sustainability score, the more favorable the rate of financing. Payment to suppliers is provided through the GT Nexus platform.

Best Web-Based Supply Chain Financing Solution: PrimeRevenue

Accessing software or solutions in the Cloud is not a new concept; PrimeRevenue, however, was one of the first to do it in the supply chain finance space. Its OpenSCi Cloud platform features a range of apps for buyers and suppliers, including SCiSupplier for accessing a range of different funding suppliers, SCiCustomer for keeping track of funders and transactions, SCiMap for supplier data analysis and benchmarking, and SCiEnable for onboarding suppliers and agreement management.

Best Platform Connecting Buyers, Suppliers and Financial Institutions: GT Nexus

The GT Nexus Cloud-based platform for trade and supply chain automation is one of the few to bridge the gap between the physical and financial supply chains. It is a bank-neutral network that automates all aspects of the supply chain, from the factory floor through to payment for goods shipped. It provides suppliers with a range of financing options, including Early Payment Program, and works with the IFC Global Trade Supplier Finance Program. GT Nexus has partnerships with more than 25 financial institutions and also works with trade-credit insurance providers like Coface, which can help companies access financing more easily.

Best Integrated Trade, Supply Chain Finance and Cash Management Solutions: Bank of China

As an increasing volume of trade is conducted on an open-account basis, banks have sought to make themselves more relevant to buyers and suppliers by integrating cash and trade solutions to better manage their payables and receivables. Bank of China developed an innovative solution integrating aspects of trade, the supply chain and cash for one of computer manufacturer Lenovo’s Chinese distributors, Insigma, and its distributors. Leveraging Insigma’s B2B platform, distributors can apply for supply chain financing from Bank of China. Various accounts set up by Bank of China enable Insigma to more readily track and manage sales revenue from distributors, which is used to repay money lent by the bank. The joined-up solution enables distributors to gain financing more easily, while Insigma receives funds more quickly and can thus expand its sales.

Best E-Procurement: Ariba

Ariba’s Cloud-based e-commerce platform connects buyers and suppliers in 190 countries around the world. Every day hundreds of thousands of purchase orders and invoices are exchanged on its network by companies of all sizes and buyers and sellers can access a range of solutions to help them better manage their spend and discover new suppliers to do business with. Ariba’s acquisition by enterprise software vendor SAP should see a more integrated approach to the corporate supply chain by more closely amalgamating e-procurement and e-invoicing with companies’ financing and accounting systems.

Best Inventory Management: GT Nexus

With a Cloud-based platform that more closely integrates the physical and the financial supply chains, GT Nexus recognizes the benefits of automating inventory management from the factory floor in order to ensure there are no delays in the shipping and delivery of goods. This has a follow-on effect: quicker receipt of payment for goods. GT Nexus’s factory floor automation solution enables companies to manage their inventory more efficiently and to oversee the shipment of goods. Last year the solution processed one million purchase orders and one million advanced shipment notices.

Best Trade Document Management: Citi

Automating trade documentation is key to ensuring there are no hiccups in the delivery and receipt of goods, which can delay payment, thereby affecting a company’s working capital. Citi provides a range of trade document management solutions, including a Web-based solution for streamlining the approval of freight invoices to help minimize disputes and more quickly resolve errors. Companies can outsource their trade documentation to Citi, which provides solutions for uploading trade document images.  

Best Analytics for Credit Scoring and Risk Assessment: Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet is the industry standard for supply chain market intelligence. E-procurement network Ariba leverages Dun & Bradstreet intelligence to give companies greater insights into their spend with suppliers. D&B enables companies to analyze a supplier’s financial performance, as well as environmental and political factors that may cause disruption in corporate supply chains.

Best Invoice Discount Management: DBS Bank

Singapore-based DBS Bank offers invoice discounting across its core markets and provides innovative, large-scale invoice discounting solutions for key corporate customers across a range of sectors. Invoices are discounted on a nonrecourse basis without affecting the customer’s balance sheet. In the past 12 months, DBS Bank has rolled out a new invoice-discounting platform across seven locations.  

Best Supply Chain Risk Consulting Services Provider: Marsh

Anticipating a wide range of risks (political, financial and environmental) is essential for companies wishing to minimize the disruption in their day-to-day trade with suppliers around the world. Insurance broker and risk management provider Marsh helps companies identify potential sources of risk and implement and assess risk management strategies.

Best Supply Chain Insurance Provider: FM Global

FM Global counts more than a third of Fortune 1000 companies among its clients. It says what sets it apart from its competitors is its “engineering-based approach” to underwriting and managing supply chain risk and its extended supply-chain risk insurance coverage, which encompasses suppliers and customers across the entire value chain.   

Best Supplier Financing: Bank of China

Bank of China leveraged the credit standing of Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest telecommunications manufacturers, to extend factoring finance to more than 80 of its upstream suppliers, providing approximately Rmb12 billion ($1.9 billion) in financing. Factoring is integrated with a cash management solution, which facilitates the management and flow of funds from sales made by nonlocal suppliers. The solution enables Huawei to ensure financial stability in its supplier base and increase sales.

Best Inventory Financing: BNP Paribas subsidiary Utexam

BNP Paribas owns a subsidiary company, Dublin-based Utexam, which buys and sells inventory on behalf of the bank’s customers. Utexam helps customers maximize working capital from their inventory. Inventory can be used to help customers extend payment terms, or for companies that want to defer the purchase of inventory to a later date in the production cycle, or to deal with seasonal spikes in production.



North America: Citi

In North America, Citi has a long track record of leveraging risk guarantees issued by export credit agencies, like the Ex-Im Bank, to purchase the receivables of major US exporters. In North America it operates a number of supply chain finance programs for Fortune 500 companies. Citi’s suite of supply chain finance services includes distribution and commodity trade finance.

Western Europe: RBS

The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland continues to invest in its supply chain finance offerings with new additions to its product suite, including electronic invoicing and dynamic discounting for buyer self-funded supply chain finance programs. It stands out from other banks in this space based on its support for third-party, bank-agnostic supply chain finance platforms. It describes itself as the SCF bank of reference for large UK and European companies looking to roll out cross-border programs.

Nordic Region: Danske Bank

With a presence in 14 countries in Western Europe, the Nordic and Baltic regions, Danske Bank  is well placed to support Nordic customers’ regional supply chain finance needs. The bank says it can also arrange programs in North and South America and Asia via a partner solution. Danske Bank is looking to develop a full suite of supply chain finance solutions, including invoice order matching and well-integrated inventory and supply chain financing.

Central & Eastern Europe: ING

Dutch bank ING says its supply chain finance volumes increased by 100% in 2014. In 2012 its trade and corporate receivables businesses and payables SCF solutions were integrated under Working Capital Solutions, which provides an all-encompassing suite of solutions, including payments, liquidity and trade, to address companies’ working capital needs. The bank maintains satellite SCF teams in Poland, Romania and Russia.

Latin America: Citi

Citi SCF programs in Latin America span 19 countries and feature multiple buyers and suppliers. Its technology platform provides visibility into invoice flow, and users report having good access to liquidity. Local companies also benefit from the bank’s on-the-ground presence and knowledge of the region. In Brazil, Citi has instituted a number of local and cross-border SCF programs for buyers and their extensive network of suppliers.

Asia: Maybank

Maybank is the fourth-largest bank in Southeast Asia. It has a well-established presence in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and China. Although most of the large global trade banks focus on large creditworthy buyers, Maybank boasts strong relationships with small to medium-size companies in the region. Its SCF offering encompasses vendor, supplier and distributor financing.

Middle East: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Recognizing the importance of value-added solutions in the open-account trade space, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank recently launched a new trade-document preparation service for local oil exporters looking to expand cross-border. ADCB says it handled the entire process from the point of invoice issuance through to receipt of payment for a large oil trader in the Middle East looking to ship into Tanzania. The solution involved working closely with the trader’s finance, logistics and business units and checking and confirming hundreds of letters of credit within a short time frame.

Africa: Citi

In Africa, Citi has supported growing trade flows between Asia and Africa by introducing Chinese-speaking specialists in the region and expanding its renminbi capabilities, including its offshore renminbi offering. Large global buyers can leverage Citi’s global network capabilities and consistent user interface to onboard suppliers in Africa as part of large, globally complex supply chain finance programs.


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