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The Trade Finance Awards for Excellence provide an ever-changing insight into the trade finance market and how it changes each year.
The future of the awards may well see a number of interesting changes. While the commodities prizes are often among the most hotly-contested categories, the rise of supply chain finance may well see these categories become the most in-demand prizes.
And what about the shift towards alternative sources of financing? Will there be an award one day for these parties, perhaps for pension funds?
This year saw Citi knock HSBC off the top spot for the Best Overall Global Trade Bank prize. It was a year of impressive results for Citi, as they also took home the prize for Best Energy Finance Bank, as well as being contenders across a number of categories.
Its presence was also strong in the regional categories, where it scored a number of victories, indicating how its global presence is helping it to gain market share – although Overall Global Trade Bank runners up Société Générale and HSBC also posted strong showings across all of the regions.
HSBC scooped up the prize for Best Supply Chain Finance Bank, a title it has retained from last year. The bank has also again shown itself to be adept at supporting even the more niche sections of the market, as it took the title of Best Factoring Institution, holding off Standard Chartered and Citi. On the forfaiting front, London Forfaiting again won Best Forfaiting Institution, although Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank did well with the voters.
After some difficulties, the French banks have posted solid results, keeping their hold on the global stage. Société Générale performed strongly in the commodities categories, clinching the top spot for Metals, Structured Commodity Finance, and Best Overall Commodity Finance Bank. The bank has had a strong 12 months in the sector, being involved with financing facilities for Trafigura, as well as supporting the export of soft commodities from Burkina Faso.
BNP Paribas scored a resounding victory as it rose to take the Best Export Finance Arranger prize, beating off the challenge from last year’s top two placed banks.
Misys had a solid climb up the leader board to take the award for Best Trade Finance Technology Company, knocking last year’s winner PrimeRevenue from the top stop. The company has seen strong progress over the past 12 months, with a number of high profile hires helping to push it forward in its goal of international expansion.
On the asset management size, Drum Risk Management once again retained the top-raking position as Best Collateral Manager, although there were some changes in the rest of the category, with SGS coming second and Cotecna placing third.
Norton Rose Fulbright has proven itself to be the law firm the trade finance industry turns to, as it was named Best Commodity/Trade Finance Law Firm, ahead of Clifford Chance. But there was a switch of positions in the Best Global ECA/DFI Law Firm, with Clifford Chance stepping up to the top spot.
Among the insurers, Zurich was named as Best Private Insurer in Trade, a title it has confidently held onto for a number of years.
By comparison it was all change in the Best Insurance Broker in Trade category, with Marsh seizing the top spot from last year's winners BPL Global, which took the highly commended prize.
On the ECA front, Euler Hermes once again managed to become the top ranked ECA, thanks in part to its support of the thriving German export market, as well as its own flexibility and willingness to work across regions. The EBRD retained its title as Best Global MFI/DFI.
Undeniably taking a global approach brings the greatest rewards in these categories, but as more players step up to the international stage and trade flows start to shift along new corridors, it may well be that some new names begin to creep into the rankings.
Awards for Excellence 2014: Global
Best private insurer in trade
Best insurance broker in trade
Best energy finance bank
Best metals finance bank
Best softs finance bank
Best structured commodity finance bank
Best overall commodity finance bank
Best commodity/trade finance law firm
Norton Rose Fulbright
Best collateral management company
Drum Risk Management
Trade Finance & Hybrids
Best structured trade finance institution
Best short-term trade finance bank
Best trade finance boutique
Supply Chain - Trade Services
Best supply-chain finance bank
Best FI trade servicing bank
Best forfaiting institution
Best factoring institution
Best trade finance tech-solutions company
Best export finance arranger
Best DFI finance arranging bank
Best global ECA
Best global MFI/DFI
Best global ECA/DFI law firm
Norton Rose Fulbright
Allen & Overy
Best overall global trade finance bank