Awards for Excellence: The global winners, unveiled

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To be recognised as a global leader in the Trade Finance Global Awards for Excellence is a prestigious and hotly contested honour. 

The awards not only serve as a celebration, but also as a reflection of the ever-changing landscape of the international trade-finance market.

Through the nomination process, the Awards for Excellence enable the broader trade-finance community to express its views on which institutions best meet the needs of a clientele faced with a complex matrix of challenges: regulation, sanctions, economic and geopolitical uncertainty and an endless list of other complexities. Does a bank have sufficient appetite for risk and is its sector knowledge world class? Does a law firm understand the nuance of cross-border transactions? Is an export credit agency supporting its country’s exporters with utmost efficacy? The public weighs in through nominations. 

The 2015 Awards for Excellence capture the drama of a past year characterised by political tension across the Eurasian continent and persistent unease within the global banking sector.

In what has been a back-and-forth battle over the past few years, this year HSBC overtook Citi to reclaim the award for Best Overall Global Trade Finance Bank.

HSBC has showcased its global force by also taking home the Best Structured Commodity Finance Bank, Best Supply-Chain Finance Bank and Best Factoring Institution.

But there is not much to separate the two global banking heavyweights as Citi has also had a great year in the global awards by taking home Best Short-Term Trade Finance Bank and Best Export Finance Arranger. Another back-and-forth battle within these awards has been between US Ex-Im and Euler Hermes for Best Global ECA. 

This year, US Ex-Im knocked Euler Hermes off the top spot to reclaim the award it won in 2013. Over the past year, US Ex-Im has been very active across a diverse range of geographies and sectors, particularly in financing transactions in the aviation industry.

The Best Commodity/Trade Finance Law Firm was once again scooped up by Norton Rose Fulbright, who are continuing to show their dominance as a leading trade law firm. The law firm also won the Best  Trade Law Firm EMEA and Best Trade Law Firm in Asia-Pacific. Meanwhile, the Best Global ECA/DFI Law Firm award was won by Clifford Chance. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also kept hold of Best Global MFI/DFI. But there is mounting competition from the increasingly active Asian Development Bank, which was this year honoured with Highly Commended. 

And what of such names as the BRICS Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank? 

On the insurer front, Zurich was awarded as Best Private Insurer and BPL Global took the title of Best Insurance Broker in Trade away from Marsh. 

An interesting point of discussion for these awards is how they will look going forward. Will the increasing use of data analytics and other technology in this market mean more awards in these categories? Also, with every bank increasingly cautious of compliance, should there be an award for Most Compliant Bank? Stay tuned.

Category  Winner Highly Commended
Best collateral management company Drum Risk Accenture Collateral Management Services
Best commodity/trade finance law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Dentons
Best DFI finance arranging bank Societe Generale Citi
Best energy finance bank SMBC MUFG
Best export finance arranger Citi HSBC
Best factoring institution HSBC Compagnie Generale D'Affacturage
Best FI trade servicing bank Deutsche Bank Standard Chartered
Best global ECA US Ex-Im Kexim
Best global ECA/DFI law firm Clifford Chance Norton Rose Fulbright
Best global MFI/DFI EBRD ADB
Best insurance broker in trade BPL Global Marsh
Best metals finance bank Societe Generale HSBC
Best overall commodity finance bank Societe Generale ING
Best overall global trade finance bank HSBC Citi
Best private insurer in trade Zurich Swiss Re
Best short-term trade finance bank Citi HSBC
Best softs finance bank Rabobank ING
Best structured commodity finance bank HSBC Societe Generale
Best structured trade finance institution Standard Chartered HSBC
Best supply-chain finance bank HSBC Citi
Best trade finance tech-solutions company Misys Prime Revenue