Leading cross-border trade digitisation platform #dltledgers has hired veteran banker Farooq Siddiqi as its Co-CE0. Siddiqi, who has over 25 years of experience in transaction and corporate banking commenced his new role on 2nd November 2020. He will split responsibilities with the founder & CEO, Samir Neji. Based out of the company’s Singapore headquarters, the senior banking professional will focus on paving the path for the next phase of #dltledgers’ growth. His immediate plans include geographic expansion, deploying the company’s recently launched Trade Finance Registry, and leading the launch of SmartFIN, an SME financing programme. Future plans include introducing innovative transactional lending models for supplier financing and inventory financing, such that platform customers can immediately benefit from next-generation risk management models.
During the course of his career, Siddiqi has held numerous senior leadership roles. In his most recent role as CEO, Asia Pacific at Falcon Group, he was responsible for formulating regional strategy and contributing to global business delivery. Prior to Falcon Group, Siddiqi had almost two decades of experience at Standard Chartered Bank, which he joined in 2000. At Standard Chartered Bank he ran trade finance globally, having worked his way up through various regional and global roles within trade and cash management.
Speaking on his appointment, Siddiqi says: “Covid-19 has impacted businesses dramatically, especially the small and medium-sized companies. If these companies do not adopt more efficient, digitised solutions quickly, they are at real risk. Even large enterprises and banks suffer by sticking with traditional operating processes within trade finance. It is imperative for the industry to review newer models, especially those deploying blockchain technology, to bring about streamlined, transparent processes that benefit all stakeholders. I believe now is an opportune time to step up efforts to bring about these industry changes. Therefore, I am thrilled to be joining the team to help further this vision”.
Over the past few months, #dltledgers has expanded rapidly. Several senior figures have been hired to help power its ongoing fintech innovation. Apart from trade finance and supply chain digitisation, the company has deployed a range of supplier finance and sustainability finance solutions. It recently made global headlines as the platform-provider for the Singapore government’s Trade Finance Registry pilot, which aims to tackle double financing fraud. The company’s focus on hiring senior trade finance professionals is no coincidence. While digitising trade execution processes is the current focus, the company’s longer-term objective is to leverage its data to create a more sophisticated framework for managing risk and liquidity within global trade finance.
“It’s always a delight to welcome banking leaders into the fintech sector. We are incomplete without their expertise” says Samir, CEO at #dltledgers. “We see huge expectation gaps between the seekers and financiers in the market, due to the volatility and risks involved in financing. Having an industry veteran like Farooq join our team in this critical post-Covid period will aid us immensely. We are striving to serve the growing aspirations of our customer, and to offer a better, safer, digital, experience for all stakeholders, while mitigating the trade finance gaps between lenders and buyers. Farooq is the perfect fit because he has global experience, is a strategic thinker, is customer-focused, and has the ability to execute. For him to join #dltledgers is as promising a signal as we could hope for. I am ecstatic to welcome him to the team”.
Since its inception three years ago, #dltledgers has digitised over SGD 3 billion-worth of cross-border trades, powering trade flows spanning 28 countries on four continents. On the back of significant growth in 2019/20, including the opening of several global offices, the company is in the midst of its latest funding round which will support further expansion in 2021.
It has also expanded its presence to the GCC region with offices in the UAE.