Issue 44: QR Code 


Welcome to issue 44 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 30 September 2014.
This issue is kindly sponsored by XL Group.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Co-op case highlights need for credit insurance. Compliancy Services has published an article, 'Co-op case highlights need for credit insurance', which advises that insurers and brokers have acknowledged that the adverse media publicity in 2013 surrounding the Co-op Bank and its chairman Rev Paul Flowers has seen demand for credit insurance on the company increase at a faster pace than for other retailers during the past 12 months. However, credit insurers also stress that it’s important to distinguish between this and other high profile retailers that have become insolvent in recent years. For example, Markel International underwriter and senior credit analyst Simon Philpin advises: "we are comfortable on the Co-op going forward. The vast majority of problems occurred within the bank, not on the food side, but insurance on the food side has increased by association.” The article also advises that the publicity surrounding the Co-op is considered to have boosted demand for retail credit insurance - the largest UK trade credit insurance sector. Within Atradius it currently accounts for 21% of UK exposure, which is nearly twice the size of the next largest sectors – construction and electronics.  AIG's William Clark and Credit Risk Solutions' Mike Clark are also quoted. To view the article on Compliancy Services' website please go to

Coface launches CofaMove: Cofanet goes mobile. Coface has announced that it has launched a new multilingual mobile application, CofaMove, to provide its customers with 24/7 anywhere access to the essential features of Cofanet (its online platform for managing credit insurance contracts). The current features of CofaMove include company identification, coverage consultation, and ordering credit insurance products and are set to expand by the end of the year. Patrice Luscan, Coface's Group's Marketing and Strategy Director, commented: "This new tool meets a technological demand and opens up prospects for more responsive risk management on the ground. Through our integrated technical platform, our international customers can use this new tool on a global scale from day one". The application is available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. To view Coface's news release go to

Atradius advises that over 50% of very late payments went uncollected by businesses in the Americas. The September 2014 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer, a survey of B2B suppliers in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States, found that, on average, 38.4% of the total value of survey respondents’ B2B receivables were unpaid by the due date. 5.2% of the value of invoices extended more than 90 days overdue, and 2.7% - approximately 52% of the value of invoices 90 days past due - were written off as uncollectable. This compared to an average of 35% for Europe. Replies to the survey also highlighted that late payments led to a marked disparity between the average payment terms for the region (28 days) and the average Days Sales Outstanding (48 days). To view Atradius' news release go to To access the full report go to

World Commerce Review article advises that Trade credit insurance offers less well appreciated benefits. An article by World Commerce Review has advised that the trade credit insurance industry today is generally – though not always - better understood than it was prior to the financial crisis. However Christine Gerryn, Director of Group Communications and Commercial Development at Atradius Credit Insurance NV, also advised that trade credit insurance offers less well appreciated benefits: “What is less well documented is that trade credit insured businesses are more likely to succeed. The reasons for this are numerous, but not least because of the structured way in which trade credit insurance encourages businesses to engage with best practice in the management of their cash flow." In addition, trade credit insurance provides trade intelligence: "which is virtually impossible for all but the largest businesses to replicate in house." To view the article, please go to

Coface Quarterly Sector Risks Survey. Tentative signs of improvement in sector risks in Europe. Although the nil growth recorded in the eurozone in Q2 2014 confirms the scenario of an exceptionally slow recovery, Coface advises that there are now tentative signs of improvement in Europe. For example, according to Coface's forecasts, in 2014 growth in GDP will be positive (estimated at 0.9%), while the automotive and metal industry sector -long considered as 'very high' risk - has been downgraded by Coface to 'high' risk instead. However, unlike North American sectors, most of which fall in the 'medium risk' category, no European sector has yet reached a risk level that Coface advises can be considered as 'moderate'. All of the other twelve Western Europe sectors which Coface assess continue to post a 'high' or 'medium' risk. To view Coface's news release go to

Atradius advises that the Spanish economy has grown for four quarters in a row and is now more resilient and sustainable. Atradius has published its latest country report on Spain and has advised that after two years of contraction, the latest business indicators show Spain‘s economic rebound gaining momentum. In Q2 of 2014 GDP grew 0.6 % compared to the previous quarter: the highest quarterly growth rate since Q1 of 2007. Furthermore, Spain is currently recovering at a faster rate than its peripheral eurozone peers. Growth forecasts have been raised to 1.2 % in 2014 and 1.9 % in 2015, reflecting successful economic reforms and rising domestic demand leading to a reduction in the large output gap. The IMF now predicts that in coming years Spanish GDP growth rates will increase on a yearly basis, reaching 3% in 2017. To view Atradius' report go to

Euler Hermes Germany launches comprehensive long-term cover against preferential payment claims in insolvency cases up to €2.5 million. Under section 133 of the German Insolvency Code, an insolvency administrator can challenge payments already made during the last ten years and claim them from suppliers so that they can be added to the insolvency estates, a process which, in some cases, can increase the bad debt risk for the suppliers concerned many times over - taking it above the credit limit. Preferential payment insurance covers these losses, and Euler Hermes Germany has advised that it is one of the first credit insurers to offer long-term cover against such claims. The new policy also pays over and above the credit limit for the first time. Ulrich Nöthel, Euler Hermes Germany board member, commented: "Our new preferential payment insurance offers appropriate long-term cover, and is a response to this risk specific to the German market.” To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Atradius warns that exporters to Russia face increasing payment risk. Atradius has issued a warning that Russia is currently experiencing a slowdown in economic growth, and the situation is most likely to deteriorate further as a result of the newly imposed sanctions. As a result, Atradius cautions that exporters to Russia could experience an increase in payment delays and defaults, with some sectors more affected than others. For example: Russia's sanctions on imports of food and agricultural products will hit the food sector, in particular the fish, meat and dairy subsectors, with a negative impact on the whole value chain. Sectors dependent on consumer demand, such as the consumer durables and consumer electronics sectors are also expected to see further slowdown. To view Atradius' news release go to
A more in depth review of the Russian business environment is available in the September 2014 Atradius Country Report on Russia. Go to

Bpifrance and Euler Hermes team-up to provide a short-term financing solution for SMEs. Bpifrance and Euler Hermes have announced that they have signed a partnership agreement to offer French companies a new short-term financing solution known as AVANCE+EXPORT, which involves the assignment of export receivables and helps companies further diversify internationally. "Thanks to our daily monitoring of companies around the world, we have observed that the risk of unpaid invoices on exports by French companies remains high", Nicolas Delzant, chairman of the Board of Management of Euler Hermes France, commented. "In 2014, for example, the IDEX index, which tracks company insolvency trends among France’s leading export partners, was nearly twice as high as its pre-crisis level. Through this new product line, Bpifrance’s customers will be able to obtain additional and secure financing." To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Coface reports that European airlines are among the least profitable in the world. In addition to an assessment of sector risk in 14 sectors of business and in three major geographic areas, Coface's latest Panorama report focuses on European airlines - many of which, it advises, are currently facing aggressive competition from low cost operators and airlines from the Gulf and are among the least profitable in the world. Coface asks what changes are conceivable and suggests that there is much to be learned from the US internal market, liberalised since 1978, and the advantages and disadvantages of consolidation. "Increase profitability, tap into demand where it exists and do better than the new entrants – these are the three main challenges faced by Europe's major, traditional players." To view the Panorama go to

Atradius reports that many businesses in the global steel market have cut costs to survive. Atradius has published its latest Market Monitor on the steel industry and has warned that, although, the World Steel Association forecasts that world steel demand will grow 3.1% in 2014, overcapacity is an increasing issue for steel producers and traders worldwide. In particular, Atradius advises that China's mounting capacity in recent years has dented steel prices around the world and, despite lower iron ore prices, this persistent pressure on steel prices is hurting companies profitability and margins in a fiercely competitive global environment. As a result, many businesses in the global steel market have been forced to find ways to cut costs in order to survive. In addition to China, the Monitor also gives a detailed update on the steel industry in India, Japan and the US and an overview of the industry in Germany, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. To view Atradius' Market Monitor go to

Coface examines company insolvencies in Brazil and asks what to expect in the near future? Coface's latest Panorama report on Brazil advises that its economy remains lacklustre and figures for the first half of 2014 do not indicate any sign of recovery. As a corollary, the prospects for companies remain weak. Coface advises that the number of companies that filed for court-supervised restructuring procedures (Chapter XI[1] established in 2005 under the new Bankruptcies Law) has grown significantly in recent years. For example, In 2012, when the industry contracted by 0.8%, there was a growth of 49.5% in the number of companies that filed for this mechanism and during 2013 this increased by a further 17.2%. In addition to the Chapter XI procedure, bankruptcy (Chapter VII) has also began to increase again, with a high of 3.1% & in the 12 months accumulated until April 2014, compared to the period immediately before. To view Coface's news release go to To view the full Panorama go to

Global Credit Insurance Market: Trends & Opportunities. Research and Markets has announced the addition of the 'Global Credit Insurance Market: Trends & Opportunities (2014-2019)' report to their offering. The report assesses the market size and trends of credit insurance segment globally, and gives specific insights on the market size, penetration, drivers, developments and future outlook of the credit insurance market globally and in the three main regions. In addition, the key opportunities, the factors driving growth of the market and challenges being faced by the players in the industry are outlined and analysed in the forecast period (2014-19). Key players of the industry, specifically Coface, Euler Hermes and Atradius are also profiled. For more information go to

Euler Hermes advises that the global car market is back on track. According to a new survey by Euler Hermes, global car production is set to exceed 100 million units a year by 2017 with global output returning to its medium-term growth rate of 4%. “The global automotive market appears to be back on track after veering off course during the financial crisis,” said Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes. “In that time, production has transferred to new economies, where ownership rates remain very low – as little as 2% in India and 5% in China – resulting in good prospects for long-term growth as these figures are set to increase.” The report predicts that the main driver of overall global growth will continue to be China, which overtook the US as the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer in 2009. Many European markets will in contrast remain sluggish - for example, in France and Italy output is set to remain at less than half its pre-crisis peak. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Coface considers the Russian Economy: 'Towards glaciation?' Coface has published a Panorama report on Russia, 'The Russian Economy: Towards glaciation?' which advises that the Ukrainian crisis has occurred in a context of significant weakening of the Russian economy. In 2013, Russian growth fell to 1.3% after an average GDP progression of 4.8% between 2000 and 2011. Coface reports that while on paper from a financial point of view, Russia is in a comfortable situation which may allow it to limit the negative impact of the external shock created by the geopolitical crisis - at least for a certain period of time, the slowdown comes from structural deficiencies: problematic infrastructures and a difficult business climate. The Panorama asks: "how can the Russian economy react in the short and medium term and what are the major economic and financial risks? To view Coface's Panorama go to

AIG reports that it has experienced an increasing demand for supply chain finance.StrategicRisk magazine has published an article, 'Plugging the gaps in the supply chain', which cautions that it is vital that businesses and economies recognise the risks to their supply chains and make the appropriate provisions before it is too late: "global supply chains have scarcely been at greater risk than today.” The article advises that the growing realisation of the dangers inherent in complex supply lines is a significant reason why AIG has experienced an increasing demand for supply chain finance. Neil Ross, AIG’s regional manager for EMEA trade credit, is quoted. To view the article onStrategicRisk's website go to

Coface examines the challenges ahead for the Chinese economy. Coface's latest Panorama examines the challenges ahead for the Chinese economy and advises that as domestic demand remains subdued in China the property market continues to be sluggish and over-capacity in some sectors remains, it is unlikely now that China will achieve its 7.5% growth target. However, with more policy support in sight, GDP growth of 7.4% in 2014 is still possible,. The report provides an in-depth analysis of recent political and economic developments in China, a detailed sectoral risk analysis (with particular examination of metals, energy and wood-paper, and an industry analysis. To view Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to

Euler Hermes joins the France 2018 Partners' Club. Euler Hermes has confirmed its association with the French golf federation, hosting the Ryder Cup in 2018, by joining the France 2018 Partners’ club. The Ryder Cup is the most prestigious team play golf event in the world, which France will host for the first time in history. The Partners’ club was created in order to promote initiatives related to hosting the Ryder Cup in France as well as provide additional financial support. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Industry Events, Offers and Training
Risk Frontiers - Developing Business & Managing Risk in Africa. 2 October. Brussels.
As more and more European companies look to the commercial opportunities opening up in Africa so the need to really understand the associated risk landscape increases. For this reason Commercial Risk Europe and its sister publication Commercial Risk Africa have teamed up with Belrim, the Belgian risk management association and FERMA, to hold an in-depth and thought-provoking one-day seminar on key topics including: expansion into Africa: opportunities and threats from an African/European point of view, international expansion into Africa, infrastructure investment and trade credit risk in Africa, the emerging insurance market in Sub Saharan Africa and the state of the African risk management profession. For more information and to register go to

3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference. 16 October, Los Angeles. United States.
GTR are delighted to announce that the 3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference will be held in Los Angeles for 2014. With a city responsible for over $400 billion worth of trade and a state that contributes 11% of total US exports, this one-day conference will be a key meeting point for the producers, importers, exporters, financiers and service providers of one of the most dynamic trade centers in the world. As the only gathering of trade finance practitioners on the West Coast, hear industry leaders discuss the financing demands of corporate organisations as well as the complexities of seeking new opportunities in emerging markets. Focus will center on both the development of operational strategies and the technical aspects of trading and creating supply chains across borders. Given the high-level delegation in attendance, networking is not to be missed. Engage with decision makers before the conference through the GTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and finally at a cocktail drinks reception at a central Downtown location. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Alternative and Receivables Finance Conference, 17 October 2014. London, UK.
At this timely one day conference, SMEs and their advisers will be meeting to discuss how alternative finance options are changing the funding landscape as well as how traditional and alternative finance can work together to help SMEs prosper. 20+ Speakers include the British Business Bank, Lloyds Bank, Marketinvoice, Platform Black, P2P CS, Bibby Financial Services and many more. The conference is actively supported by the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business as well as ACCA and ABFA. Click here for the programme. There is also a separately bookable Introduction to Receivables Finance Masterclass 16th October which covers credit insurance, invoice discounting and supply chain finance. A 10% discount is available forCredit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN10. In addition, we are delighted to offer 5 free delegate passes to the event for any B2B SMEs amongst our subscribers. Attendees must be chief executives or CFOs. For details, please email Sally at Credit Insurance News.

6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 22-23 October, Lagos, Nigeria.
GTR will be holding the 6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, for the first time. Given Nigeria’s rise to prominence and West Africa’s growing prosperity, the focus of the conference will look at the industries and sectors that have been instrumental in developing one of the most exciting regions in world trade. This two-day event will bring together delegates from corporate, banking and financial services organisations to discuss key market issues within agribusiness, hard commodities, risk mitigation and infrastructural development. Specialist speakers will engage with high level delegates through specific transaction case studies, roundtable discussions, onstage interviews, and live question and answer sessions. As the only dedicated trade, commodity and export finance conference in West Africa, this will be a networking opportunity not to be missed for anyone undertaking or looking to do business in the region. Meet with decision makers before the conference through theGTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and at an exclusive evening cocktail drinks reception. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Trade Credit Insurance Summit, 27-28 October 2014. Dubai, UAE.
With a volume of AED 1,329 trillion of foreign trade in 2013, Dubai achieved a AED 94 billion increase from the 2012 value of AED 1,235 trillion. New trade licences recorded an increase of 12% while container reached 13.6 million TEU. In response to this massive leap in economic performance, foreign trade tit a growth rate that exceeds the WTO's forecasted 2.5% global trade growth by twofold. Trade Credit Insurance Summit 2014 provides the regional trade community with critical updates on the latest commercial and political risk landscape, up-to-date coverage of regional and international market outlook and finance trends, as well as strategic insight and practical techniques to help improve business decisions for market entry, growth and access to trade finance by leveraging receivables insurance. It is the only platform where leaders share key strategies to leverage trade finance and insurance to grow domestic and foreign trade and take advantage of opportunities leading up to Expo 2020. The summit is the region's premier opportunity to meet and network with all stakeholders including C level corporate executives, government representatives, ECAs, Bankers, Factoring Companies, Trade Credit Insurers, Re-Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers, Credit Information Agencies and Consultants to evaluate the major opportunities in the region's booming trade credit insurance industry. Click here for more information.

Global Trade Finance & Industrial Developments Summit, 27 – 29 October 2014. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai, UAE
This interactive leader’s programme addresses the key issues of Trade Finance & Industrial Development through a programme that is of value across Governments, Trade Agencies, Trade Finance Suppliers, Multinational clients & SME’S. Part of the programme covered on Trade Credit Insurance topic is on: Mitigating commercial and political risks and enabling growth in trade by employing robust Trade ~ Growth Potential for Trade Credit Insurance in EMEA Region ~ Exploring the roles of public insurers (multilateral agencies, ECAs) and private insurers in facilitating trade finance ~ Assessing political risk for the regions and leveraging trade credit insurance to gain access into emerging markets in the region ~ Overcoming challenges faced by trade credit insurance market (lack of information from the buyers, lack of transparency in claims & premiums, increased demand for product innovation, etc.) Credit Insurance News Digest Readers will enjoy 10% discount to quote discount code GTDW=CIN when registering. Click here for more information and to register.

Inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference, 30 October, Bucharest.
GTR’s inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference will take place in Bucharest in October 2014. Well timed to provide detailed insight on the opportunities offered to Romanian companies through tapping into high-growth emerging market trade flows, the gathering will showcase the trade finance sector’s role in providing risk mitigation and funding for cross-border business with non-traditional trade partners. Drawing on GTR’s global network and extensive experience in organising market leading trade finance events, the conference will feature an in-depth agenda outlining the full range of funding tools currently enabling the corporate financier to overcome the challenges posed by a post-crisis environment. Further providing numerous high-level networking opportunities across an international audience, the Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference constitutes a key diary fixture for all those seeking to build connections and get ahead in this exciting market. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

4th Annual China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 4-6 November 2014. Beijing China.
GTR’s China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference returns for its fourth year, now a highlight on the calendar having cemented itself as the only such event for the Chinese market. With over 200 of the region’s trade finance experts, business leaders and trade bodies expected in attendance, discussions will look to address the key issues affecting both the Chinese trade and export community and those seeking to do business with Asia’s prevalent industrial leader. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

3rd Annual Malaysia Trade & Export Finance Conference. 11 November 2014. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia’s business and banking leaders, primary trade bodies and supporting actors will again gather in Kuala Lumpur for the only such event for the Malaysian trade and export finance community. An in-depth agenda will focus on the challenges currently being faced by the manufacturing and commodities sectors in contributing to export-led economic growth, the impact of ongoing regional integration and implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) on international trade and financing, the key trade corridors and export markets offering opportunities to the region’s leading companies, and the latest financing and risk management techniques being employed by those financiers facilitating international business. A 15% discount is available forCredit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

7th Annual Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference. 19-20 November. Stockholm, Sweden.
Building on its established reputation as the only trade and export finance gathering for the Nordic market, GTR’s 7th Annual Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference will convene in Stockholm for the first time, bringing together business leaders from the corporate, banking and government sectors to debate current trends and discuss future opportunities. With strong support from institutions across Scandinavia, and with a proven track record of attracting representatives from the region’s leading multinationals, the conference will continue crucial dialogue between exporters and their providers, as Nordic corporates look to negotiate the many market challenges and take advantage of the many opportunities available both domestically and further afield. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

Understanding International Credit Reports: New training course. Various dates throughout 2014.
Graydon has announced that it is introducing a new training course, Understanding International Credit Reports. The one-day course will examine: report content by region (MENA, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Far East & 'Tax Havens'), sources of data (Credit Agencies, Public Registries, Local Agent in undeveloped markets & Law Firms), credit scoring/ratings and pricing. The course costs £599 + VAT (a 10% discount is offered to Credit Insurance News Digest readers) and will be held on various dates throughout the year. For more information, please go to

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
China's next wave of global business giants. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has published a report, 'China's Next 100 Global Giants', which identifies 100 fast-growing Chinese businesses that have the right mix of characteristics to emerge as global giants over the next three to five years. Companies such as film and record company Huayi Brothers Media Corp – China's equivalent of Warner Bros – are amongst the top 100. The report, authored by Professor Andrew Atherton, deputy vice chancellor at Lancaster University, also points to four case studies of Chinese companies and looks at how they have got to the cusp of global growth. Ada Leung, head of ACCA China, commented: “It's not just about their balance sheets, it's about growth. These companies' future growth trajectories are based on sustained annual levels of growth from 2008-2012. The majority of the top 100 companies we have identified have doubled in size and in some cases quadrupled. They are clearly doing something right.” View the full China's Next 100 Global Giants list and report at ACCA's website -

Despite accounting for less than 1% of all UK firms, mid-market companies generate over £1 trillion in revenue every year. According to new research from BDO LLP, despite accounting for less than 1% of all UK firms, mid-market companies generate over £1 trillion in revenue every year. This amounts to nearly a third (31.3%) of all private sector turnover, and one in four private sector jobs (over 6.2 million) across the UK. However, according to BDO, the UK's mid-market is caught in a 'policy and profile' gap: too large to benefit from policies tailored to small business, but too small to win the attention that FTSE firms command from the media and policy makers. Simon Michaels, Managing Partner at BDO, said: "Compared to other European nations, Britain's middle-market is undervalued and overlooked. Despite already contributing a remarkable amount to UK GDP and jobs, these businesses have the potential to deliver even more." To view BDO's news release go to,-says-bdo. To access the full report with BDO's ideas on how the mid-market can contribute even more go to

CBI reports that UK manufacturers' export books are at their weakest since January 2013. According to the CBI's latest Industrial Trends Survey, the UK's manufacturers had a mixed month in September, with production continuing to rise steadily but order books deteriorating. The survey of 488 manufacturers across the UK was carried out between 20th August and 10th September and revealed that output growth remained solid in the last quarter and is expected to strengthen further in the coming three months. But firms saw total order books fall below “normal” levels, and export order books worsened significantly, and are now at their weakest since January 2013. Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “Against a backdrop of acute political uncertainty at home and abroad, exports orders for UK manufacturers are faltering, which is disappointing. To view the CBI's news release go to

Economic recovery comes with cash flow woes for some UK businesses. The number of businesses just paying the interest on their debts – a key characteristic of ‘zombie businesses’ – has jumped from 103,000 in November 2013 to 154,000 now, according to research by R3. This is the highest number of businesses in this position in eighteen months. But rather than a return of the ‘zombie business’ phenomenon, insolvency practitioners suspect that late payment and over-trading problems associated with economic recovery are behind the rise. Giles Frampton, president of R3, commented: “Businesses will get into trouble if they’re trying to run before they can walk and don’t get paid quickly enough for the work they’re doing. Access to new finance is still tight so businesses low on cash have limited options to give themselves some breathing room.” The R3/BDRC research also shows that 135,000 businesses are currently negotiating payment terms with their creditors, up from 74,000 in February 2013. To view R3's news release go to

Cash position and margins are not sustainable for the future of the UK construction industry, says KPMG report. According to a new report published by KPMG, analysis of the largest UK construction contractors indicates that despite greater deal-flow, the financial position of many contractors remains weak, with cash balances and margins down. The report 'Construction Barometer: Recovery in Sight?' analyses the operating margins, cash balances and order books of 14 Tier 1 contractors from 2007 through to 2013. The detailed analysis revealed that net cash balances declined in 2013 and are now close to half their 2010 peak. Operating margins in construction also continue to be squeezed: from a high of 2.8% across the industry in 2010 to an average of just 1.2% in 2013. Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK's Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, commented: “Construction contractors have been struggling with some of the most difficult market conditions ever encountered and even now – with all evidence pointing to sustained recovery – the industry faces real profitability challenges." To view KPMG's news release go to To view the full report go to

UK SME growth hampered by cash flow concerns. One in five (21%) UK SMEs cite cash flow as a major challenge to growth, according to a new study by Albion Ventures. Albion’s research shows that cash flow concerns are far higher among firms that are increasingly confident about the future and have attempted to raise finance for growth, suggesting that it is a problem of success rather than failure. According Albion's report, cash flow concerns were the most acute among firms in the cash-hungry production sector. These firms recorded the highest level of business confidence with 84% predicting growth over the next two years versus an average of 62% among all SMEs polled. Sole traders are particularly sensitive to cash flow problems with one in four (24%) citing this as a major challenge compared to just 12% among larger SMEs with over 50 employees. Regionally, businesses in the South West and Wales were most affected by cash flow problems. For further information go to

S&P Capital IQ indicates that the United Kingdom has low corporate credit risk, but concerns remain elsewhere in Europe. In the latest issue of its report, Credit Market Pulse, S&P Capital IQ finds that Scotland’s mapped credit score and those of the UK both including and excluding Scotland are within one notch – a relatively small difference. However, the research suggests, that on a sector by sector basis, corporate credit risk is less balanced. The current issue of Credit Market Pulse also finds a striking alignment between corporate credit risk levels and sovereign ratings for troubled Mediterranean European countries. The median credit risk scores of large financial and non-financial corporations either match or are just one notch off the sovereign rating of their domestic markets. According to the report, Portuguese companies exhibit the greatest volatility and credit risk in Greece remains very high. To view S&P Capital IQ's news release go to The latest issue of Credit Market Pulse can be downloaded

Credit Managers anticipate improved cashflow to the end of 2014 according to Tinubu Square. Tinubu Square has carried out independent research which has found that 60% of the credit managers it interviewed anticipate improvements in their cash flow situation now that the UK economy is improving. 54% said that they envisaged a change in the credit period taken by their customers in the current year, whilst 43% felt that it would remain the same. Only a quarter reported that the value of their bad debt had increased, whilst the rest said it had gone down or stayed the same. The positive outlook is also reflected in the most recent Credit Managers Index, published by the Institute of Credit Management and sponsored by Tinubu Square. The Index for Q2 2014, shows that actual levels of business are increasing and companies are demonstrating a broader appetite for risk. To view Tinubu Square's news release go to

QBE research reveals one in two businesses struggle to demonstrate the value of risk management. Recent research by QBE has revealed that 54% of businesses have taken on a range of completely new risk exposures over the last two years and 68% recognised a need to strengthen, enhance and support their approach to managing risk. While no single activity dominated in terms of requiring improvement, the ability to demonstrate return on investment was cited by the largest number of respondents (50%) as in need of development. In addition, 29% of risk decision makers felt that the overall level of risk had increased in the last six months, while over half (54%) of the businesses surveyed felt they had gained exposure to one or more completely new areas of risk in the last two years. Click here to view QBE's news release.

Career Opportunities: 
Communications Manager: Euler Hermes. Competitive salary and benefits.
Contributes to achieving profitable and sustainable growth targeted by the Euler Hermes NEUR/UK strategy by developing and implementing an integrated, region-specific communications program. Functional responsibilities are reputation management and protection, and thought leadership positioning in partnership with Marketing. Media activity includes targeted annual plan and metrics, agency management and budget, spokesperson development and management, the development of a network of journalist contacts, and social media. Leads employee communications, CSR, employee engagement support. Issues/crisis management expert that provides strategic counsel and tactical support at local, national and Group level.
Key Responsibilities: Manage key functional areas: external (including spokesperson function) and internal communication and serves as a Consultant to CEO, Executive Management Team and executives and peers locally. Development of UK and regional corporate communications plan, aligned to regional commercial goals and EH Group Communications. Set agenda and priorities. Develop communications guidelines and processes, ensure global standards and best practices. Ensure messaging and positioning consistency, and manage reputational risk. Development and management of an integrated media relations program supporting key objectives, external agency management. Optimize existing company initiatives, and materials. Foster cross-OE UK and regional collaboration with Allianz.
Key Requirements/Skills/Experience: Market knowledge: B2B and, ideally, financial services. Strategic corporate communications experience, internal and external. Excellent journalism and business writing skills. Proven reputational issues/crisis experience. Project management expertise. Proven presentation and public speaking skills. Effective with small-team building, ability to improve skills, standards and deliverables. Experienced with digital media management- inter/intranets, and social media. Excellent interpersonal skills, Executive and business peer coaching, and strong networking skills. Languages: English, excellent written and spoken.
If you are interested in the position above and think you have the right profile please follow the online application process at For more detailed information on career opportunities at Euler Hermes go to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digestwhen applying).

Political & Credit Risk Underwriter.
This major insurer who has operations in all of the key global hubs is looking to recruit an additional underwriter into its London operation. Due to the dynamic within the team and present skill-set they would like to recruit someone who is presently working within the London market in either an Underwriting or Broking capacity and is already known to the local market. You’ll be working as part of a small team of Underwriters who are responsible for writing a profitable book of business across all key sectors with emphasis on bank led business, although traders and corporates do play their part too. Typically the bulk of risks written are CF/CR with some CEN/CCP. As the team is fairly well established and very technically capable, they can be fairly flexible as to the level of individual brought in, this could range from Assistant Underwriter through to Underwriter or even an experienced and technically capable broker. Regardless of level, its key that you bring an outgoing and social personality as you’ll be expected to network heavily with brokers and clients and represent the organisation at events (formal and informal). This is an excellent opportunity to work in a team who can offer excellent training and development, good exposure to a wide variety of trade related and non-trade products, outstanding risk support in-house and the ability to really develop your market profile. To be considered you should have previous experience within an underwriting team (e.g 3-5yrs) even if your scratch is relatively recent, or at least 5 - 10 years broking these risks with a solid technical understanding. Please don’t hesitate to apply as this opportunity is available immediately. Please contact Kerren Leach on +44 207 092 3283 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Account Executive, London, £40,000 - £60,000 plus benefits.
A new opportunity with a developing broker has arisen for an experienced individual with a track record of acquiring & developing new business. The successful candidate will have considerable knowledge within the credit space and will be a self-starter committed to providing a quality service. For a confidential discussion, please contact Nicole on 07931 808 349 or Ref:J9402. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Ins Executive. London, salary circa £70,000 to £90,000 negotiable.
Our client is a well known insurance and reinsurance Broker, specialising in providing bespoke solutions to businesses, insurance brokers, trade associations and private individuals. They are seeking an ambitious, experienced Sales Account Executive to develop their Trade Credit & Bonds insurance business. This is a fantastic opportunity for a career minded individual with excellent prospects of developing their own team and enhancing their career with a truly entrepreneurial Broker. The role of Trade Credit & Bonds Insurance Sales Executive, based in London, incorporates managing the growth of sales in respect of Commercial/Corporate Trade Credit Insurance Broking. Key Skills: You should be familiar with necessary broking markets and sector and country intelligence reports. Experience with Trade Credit including International TradeCredit Insurance is required. You will be responsible for developing a team, monitoring figures to ensure that targets are met in terms of retention, profit and volume. You will develop your key client accounts, building strong business relationships in order to identify untapped potential. Ability to build and maintain good business relationships with clients, insurers and associates. In depth market knowledge of both UK and International Trade Credit & Bonds market. In depth knowledge of the rules, regulations and compliance of the market. Ability to manage and develop a team. Ability to identify opportunities for business development. For more information, please contact Gary Nation on 0208 406 2915. If you wish to apply please email your CV with a covering letter to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Business Development Manager (Direct). Manchester.
Due to expansion, a leading Credit Insurer is looking for an experienced Business Development Manager to join it's Manchester sales team selling credit insurance solutions and ancillary products to the end client and working via a mixture of referrals, internal and self generated leads. This is an excellent opportunity for a high calibre salesperson to join this prestigious and continually growing organisation.
This is a key role and the successful candidate will be responsible for the acquisition of new business and the growth of direct accounts with the aim of delivering new business sales to meet individual targets. You will work alongside the Commercial Department to ensure prudent underwriting and be constantly developing the SME market in your area to secure profitable business. This is a role for a true business developer who is always looking for ways to maximise contribution by identifying and opportunities to cross sell product lines. You will work closely with other departments to manage leads and feed back activity results and will ensure that all prospects and clients receive a timely and efficient service. An in depth familiarity and knowledge of various contract structures in order to know how best to negotiate between price and risk, as well as knowledge of current economic climate and how it affects the market, will be viewed as advantageous.
An excellent salary plus benefits awaits the right candidate. If you’re interested in this exciting opportunity with a prestigious organisation, please contact Jenny Piper Taylor on 0161 833 2033 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Business Manager (SME) - Manchester. Highly competitive salary and package.
Due to expansion, a leading Credit Insurer is looking for an experienced New Business Manager to join it's Manchester team to develop and manage the relationship between the Company and its brokers, in particular prospects that need a close local or regional relationship within national business remit. These are excellent opportunities for a experienced individuals to join this prestigious and continually growing organisation.
This role depends on the ability to develop and grow relationships between the Company and its brokers and other intermediaries to ensure delivery of individual and team sales growth targets. The successful candidate will be responsible for pricing and structuring business, taking joint ownership of the loss ratio in the Region with the Risk department, delivering a profitable result to the business. It will be essential to develop a sound understanding of all Company products and ensure the proposition is developed through all appropriate sales channels, thereby maximising contribution and conversion of profitable opportunities with the aim of long term retention of clients.
Previous experience in a similar role is essential as is an solid understanding of Risk limit decisions in order to challenge underwriters where appropriate, and communicate effectively with brokers/prospects. Additionally, working knowledge of SMART/CRM systems, tarification pricing tool and a degree qualification in Business and/or Finance related discipline would be advantageous. In return, the Company is offering highly competitive salary and package. If you’re interested in having a confidential chat to find out more, please contact Jenny Piper Taylor on 0161 833 2033 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political and Credit Analyst - Lloyds Syndicate. London. Basic of C.£70,000 (negotiable) + Bonus + Benefits.
Following continued growth, and significant capital injection, this Lloyds Insurer has identified the requirement for a permanent Political & Credit Risks Analyst.
Your key responsibility is to support the underwriters in making prudent and profitable underwriting decisions on a wide range of insurance policies. Typically these policies will be to support major banks’ and commodity trading houses’ transactions. The analysis required will include country/sovereign, counterparty, credit worthiness, structure, project finance and various other categories on a worldwide basis.
Key responsibilities: Setting up and maintaining efficient credit metrics, models and tools for assessing and monitoring of counterparties, sectors, countries and sovereign risks. Analysing credit / structured credit / sovereign / political risks. Assist in research for pricing strategies and market rates. Maintain and develop pricing models for London Market business. Assist the underwriters in the use of models. Develop your market knowledge to aid your career progression, whether this be into Senior Analysis or Underwriting depending on your preference.
Desired Skills and Experience: Although this role is within an insurer they are willing to consider candidates with financial / risk analytical skills specifically around company financials and complex financing structures from a banking environment or rating house and Country / counterparty / sovereign risk analysis experience. However, it is essential that you have experience of analysing medium to long term transactions and overseas obligors; the client is specifically not seeking individuals who have solely been involved in the P&L/Balance Sheet analysis of UK Domiciled organisations for a traditional credit insurer.
If the above describes you and you’re looking for a challenging, but rewarding career within the Lloyds Insurance Market then please don’t hesitate to apply. Please don’t hesitate to contact Kerren Leach on +44 207 092 3283 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Account Manager – Credit/Bonds. South East. Competitive salary including commission scheme plus benefits.
A highly respected Credit Insurance broker is looking to recruit an experienced Account Manager with at least 10 years experience specialising in credit and bonds/surety products to join their expanding client servicing team in the South East. You will be responsible for renewing the policies, processing client limits, overdue accounts and claims as well as resolving all client queries efficiently and professionally. Developing and enhancing both client and underwriter relationships is key whilst growing the client portfolio to include other risk management services. Working remotely is a possibility with this position, experience dependant. A competitive salary including commission scheme plus benefits is offered. If you are interested in this opportunity please send your CV and covering email to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Broker – London.
Do you want to work for one of the fastest growing broking houses in the Political Risk market? Do you want to become an expert in your field with the opportunity to manage some high profile accounts? Do you have 1-3yrs experience in broking Political & Structured Credit risks into the London market? If so then I might have the perfect opportunity for you. I’ve been exclusively mandated to recruit a dynamic and ambitious broker into the existing team of this broking house. Working with high calibre individuals and driven by a highly charismatic leader you can’t help but learn and grow. As well as a great working environment you’ll be rewarded with a competitive salary (to £55k for the right individual) as well a good benefits package. Opportunities to work overseas in the medium – long term also exist. If you want to discuss this opportunity in more depth then please call or email Kerren Leach on 0207 092 3283 or email (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Account Executive, Leeds Salary up to £50,000 dependent upon experience.
An exciting opportunity has arisen within a specialist Broker to join their established Credit Insurance Team, set within their Leeds based offices. The successful applicant will be responsible for developing a book of Credit Insurance clients through existing previous relationships and targeting new clients from a range of industries. The role is a client facing role and you will be responsible for generating leads, making and attending appointments to win the business. You must have the ability to communicate effectively to all different levels, have excellent sales skills and ideally have a proven track record in Credit Insurance from a broker or insurer perspective. Commercial Insurance candidates will be considered also who have a keen interest within Credit Insurance. This could also be the ideal opportunity for an Account Handler looking for the next step to being Account Executive. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your CV to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
Euler Hermes has appointed Mahan Bolourchi as GCC CEO, with responsibility for Euler Hermes operations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Based in Dubai, he reports to Michele Pignotti, head of Euler Hermes Mediterranean Countries, Middle East and Africa region. Mr Bolourchi was formerly Risk, Information & Claims Director for the GCC and Middle East.

Atradius has announced that Mark Hoppe has been appointed as Atradius Managing Director Australia and New Zealand. Mr Hoppe has more than 17 years of experience working in the insurance industry and began his career at Atradius began in Sydney in 2006. Formerly, Mr Hoppe was Regional Unit Director of Atradius Global – North America.

Falcon Group, the alternative finance firm, has announced that it has made two new appointments to its risk management team. Mark Wyatt, formerly director of risk, information and claims at Euler Hermes joins as chief risk officer. Tim Esden, formerly head of claims and debt collection at Coface, joins as portfolio manager.

Coface has announced the appointment of Massimo Falcioni as Head of Middle East countries. Based in Dubai, Mr Falcioni will join and strengthen the Mediterranean & Africa Regional Management team - overseeing expansion in the region and contributing to Coface's business growth. He will report to Antonio Marchitelli, Mediterranean & Africa Region Manager.

Nexus CIFS has announced that it has strengthened its risk underwriting team with the appointment of Dominic Rice. Mr Rice, joins from AIG Europe, where he was Senior Trade Credit Underwriter working with major banks Santander and Leumi ABI. Previously, he spent five years at Coface UK.

Markel International has announced that it has appointed Leroy Almeida to head up its office in Dubai (See CIND: 9 September). Subject to receiving regulatory approval, Markel’s business will be located within the Lloyd’s offices in the DIFC and will focus initially on offering trade credit covers. Opportunities in other business lines will be reviewed in due course. Mr Almeida has considerable experience of underwriting trade credit solutions in the Middle Eastern region, having worked as Senior Business Development Manager with Atradius' cooperation partners in the UAE since 2005.

About this issue's sponsor: XL Group
XL Group plc (NYSE:XL), through its subsidiaries, is a global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world. XL Group’s 4000 employees are deployed across 60 offices in 22 countries. The company maintains an A+ (stable) rating from S&P and as of year-end 2013 had more than $11 billion in consolidated shareholder’s equity and annual premiums in excess of $7.4 billion. XL is the company clients look to for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward.

XL Group is a market leader in the provision of Political Risk and Trade Credit products with dedicated underwriting teams in New York, London and Singapore. In 2013 the group established a Trade Receivable Insurance (“TRI”) practice, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and supported by underwriters in London and New York and a risk and operations team in Gurgaon, India offering coverage on short-term receivables residing with single or multiple private sector buyers on trade-related transactions. Policy limits of liability of up to $100 million can be supported with individual buyer limits of up to $50 million. The XL TRI team underwrites whole-turnover and named buyer programs on a direct basis and works with other carriers to support syndications, top-up and excess layer coverages.

For more information, or to discuss particular opportunities, please contact:

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