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Former Greensill executives re-emerge with new trade finance venture | Business News

A group of former executives at Greensill Capital, the collapsed supply chain finance lender, will this week unveil a new trade finance venture targeting blue-chip corporate clients.

Sky News has learnt that Silver Birch Finance, which has been co-founded by Sean Hanafin, will announce its launch on Thursday.

It will be the first major new entity to be established by ex-Greensill executives since the company crashed into insolvency in March.

Mr Hanafin worked for 18 months at Greensill, most recently as president and global head of origination for multinational corporates, but the majority of his career was spent at Citi and Standard Chartered, the emerging markets lender.

At Silver Birch Finance, Mr Hanafin is being joined by former Greensill colleagues including John Goodridge and Tim Armstrong.

Between them, the five founders have well over a century of collective experience in trade finance, according to an insider.

The new venture’s infrastructure is being funded by seed capital provided by partners at TDR Capital, the private equity firm which recently engineered the takeovers of Asda and Aggreko, the temporary power solutions provider.

AgFe, a regulated asset management firm, is also a shareholder in and strategic partner of Silver Birch Finance, according to insiders.

Mr Hanafin and his colleagues are understood to have identified the provision of working capital to corporates in sectors such as consumer goods, industrials and natural resources as a major ongoing opportunity.

Analysis by Moody’s, the credit ratings agency, suggests that the global addressable market for trade finance is worth roughly €55trn, with no single provider holding a market share of more than 0.5%.

People close to Silver Birch Finance said that it would not provide supply chain finance of the kind offered by Greensill Capital.

Greensill’s collapse and subsequent revelations about the lobbying activities of David Cameron, the former prime minister who advised the company, have escalated into a major political controversy.

Silver Birch Finance plans to target only corporate clients, and will not work with government or public sector organisations, according to insiders.

By providing working capital finance, the firm will enable its clients “to benefit from certainty of cashflow management, allowing them to invest and reallocate capital sooner than they may have been able to otherwise”, according to one person close to its plans.

“The model here is based on receivables and inventory finance, not payables,” the person added.

A spokesman for Silver Birch Finance confirmed that it would announce its launch this week.

Several of Greensill Capital’s businesses have either been sold by administrators or been dissolved since the company’s collapse.

Dozens of its executives and other employees have been recruited by other players in the non-bank lending sector, including Pemberton and Taulia, according to City sources.

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