The boutique’s presence in the Middle East is key as is its complementary expertise in petrochemical, steel and other commodity trade financing, and its knowledge of Mourabaha, or Islamic finance.
“We have developed strong links in the region,” says Will Nagle, Falcon’s CFO, “and since 1996 we have earned our reputation as a leading provider of flexible and innovative trade services and solutions. The key here is to develop very strong ties locally and to work with clients along their entire supply chain. While even the larger banks cherry pick, we are keen to prove there are solutions that an independent can provide to what they may have considered unsolvable trade-related issues.”
Nagle also highlights the company’s expansion into emerging Asian markets as a key development.
“Our ability to target top exporting companies in the region is evidence that we can develop services and solutions that are well-designed for trading companies wherever they are doing business,” he says. “They appreciate the comprehensive nature of our solutions, the rapid turn-around times, and the fact that whilst we have the capability for complex structuring, we avoid unnecessarily over-structuring the deals.”
Carefully selected key personnel have been vital to Falcon’s success so far. And Peter Watson’s appointment as Manager of Sales and Marketing supports this. He was a high profile recruit aimed at developing a first class international sales team based in the local markets.
Asia has been a key focus for Watson. With offices now open in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, Falcon’s ambitious move into South East Asia has certainly been dynamic.
At the same time, the recent appointment of Awadh Mohamed Qahtan as country manager for Saudi Arabia shows Falcon has not forgotten its first major market of the Middle East.
To join Falcon’s pre-existing offices in Dubai and Riyadh, Qahtan will focus on origination and relationship management in Jeddah, which is both his home and the commercial heart of Saudi Arabia – a key market for Falcon. Qahtan’s experience as Executive Vice President of Arabian Food Suppliers is in keeping with Falcon’s determination to ensure its major new recruits have a high level of local expertise and a strong understanding of the issues potentially affecting clients. He is an experienced figure with detailed knowledge and understanding of international corporations, coupled with strong personal and business ties with the area.
Nagle observes: “Of course we are excited about our move into Asia, but Falcon is built on existing successes and relationships – especially in the Middle East – which we continue to develop and enhance. Our ability to tailor trade and finance services and solutions to our clients requires close relationships, which can be maintained whilst Falcon expands.”
Nagle believes the award is recognition of the same high service levels and focus on client relationships that win Falcon much of its business. The company’s continued growth is testament to its on-the-ground presence in its areas of activity, which – coupled with its attention to global tradeflows – allows it to work successfully with commodity and raw material producers, as well as end-users, refiners, processors, manufacturers, shipping companies and financiers – in fact all the key players in trade.
“As a boutique we have no products to sell or targets to meet,” says Nagle. “And we are not constrained by credit limits. We are simply trying to solve the problems of our clients. It is a tremendous competitive advantage.”
Falcon’s winning combination of focusing on client needs while developing strong financing relationships with key trade finance banks such as Fortis continues to bring the company exponential expansion, although Nagle shows customary focus on specifics when he talks of the future.
“We have recently recruited Davy Kurniadi as country manager for Indonesia,” he says, “and his banking experience – 15 years at Citibank, Standard Chartered and most recently ABN Amro – coupled with his local knowledge, is precisely in line with the Falcon approach to business – an expert understanding of finance, a wealth of global knowledge and experience, and, crucially, a personal and local presence in the areas we operate in.”
Tuesday, October 2- 2007 @ 10:32 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.