Speakers at First WOA Community Convention - "A World of Opportunities"

First WOA Community Convention - "A World of Opportunities"

About the speakers

  1. Amaury Luyckx

    Amaury Luyckx

    General Manager at Polytra N.V. part of Fracht Group. As from his Master graduation in 2006 - followed by an MBA in 2010 - Amaury worked in the Belgian Defense as an Operations Officer. Amaury pursued his career in logistics and opened a rep office in South Africa for a shipping company. As country manager he organized the transportation of bulk and breakbulk parcels from South Africa to Europe. Trafigura's Impala Logistics offered him the opportunity to enter the trading world as commercial manager. In this position he developed his business acumen in a trading environment with a logistical background to build on. Amaury pursued his career at Louis Dreyfus Commodities, an international recognized trading company, as country manager / trader for Congo DRC - based in Lubumbashi. At present Amaury is head of Africa and head of the Group Commercial department of Polytra. Polytra is a freight forwarder and a 4PL logistics service provider active in Europe and Africa.
  2. Anthony Brown

    Anthony Brown

    Tony Brown has over thirty years of international trade and management experience as a trader, lender, shipper, and supply chain and business executive. He provides international trade consulting through The Trade Advisory, developing trade finance solutions, markets, new business, funding and strategy for global banks, finance companies, logisticians, venture capital and private equity investors, and importers and exporters. Tony has served as an expert witness in trade finance litigation cases. Tony has managed international trade finance businesses (at Maersk Trade Finance, Bibby Financial Services, MTB Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Trust), reverse factoring (at Delta Trade Finance and China Export Finance), international factoring (at First Capital and GMAC) and pioneered Purchase Order Financing in the late 80’s through his firm Trading Alliance Corp. Tony started his career in credit and political risk insurance at Lloyds of London. He is a graduate in economics from the London School of Economics.
  3. Cédric Teissier

    Cédric Teissier

    Cedric Teissier is co-founder and CEO of Finexkap, a receivables financing service based in France and with operations in Western Europe. Since launching in 2015, 1,800+ companies have become clients of the service. Prior to that, Cédric was co-founder and Managing Director of Palico, the global leader among marketplaces for private equity funds and investors with offices in France, the UK, and the USA, and more than 15,000 active users in over 70 countries. In an earlier life, he was a private equity attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton LLC in New York, and a placement agent for private equity funds. Cédric is widely recognized as a leader of the French Fintech ecosystem. He is a co-founding member and former Vice President of France Fintech, a Fintech advisory member to the World Economic Forum, Vice President of the Fintech Commission of the French Association of Treasuries, and a member of the Forum Fintech of the French financial and prudential regulatory authorities. Cédric is a graduate of Cornell University. He is a member of the French and New York Bar, and a mentor at Fintech accelerators.
  4. Erik Timmermans

    Erik Timmermans

    Founder of World of Open Account. Erik was Secretary General of IFG from 2005 till 2015. He played a key role in the merger between IFG and FCI on 31/12/15. Post-merger Erik was Deputy Secretary General of FCI till 31/12/2017. He started his career in the factoring industry with International Factors Belgium in 1982. In 2008 he initiated the EU Federation for Factoring & Commercial Finance (EUF) of which he was Chairman (2016-2018). In March 2018 he received both the Life Time Achievement Award at the BCR RFIx conference and the Leadership in Receivables Finance Award at the Business Money Awards Dinner.
  5. Fabio Manca

    Fabio Manca

    Director Working Capital Solutions at Arviem AG. Fabio Manca has over 30 years’ experience in Logistics, Banking, Management Consulting and Global Trade Finance, having extensive experience across clients and solutions in Europe, USA and Asia. Fabio worked for 25 years in DHL, covering various executive positions, including the role of Managing Director and CFO, latterly as Head of Supply Chain Finance. Fabio led the successful implementation of several large financial deals in the area of Inventory Financing, Commodity and Trade Finance, Financial Structuring and M&A. Over the years, Fabio has developed a solid network of relations across the corporate, logistic and finance sectors in Europe, Americas and Asia.
  6. Federico Travella

    Federico Travella

    Federico is a Belgian-Italian technology entrepreneur and CEO of Novicap, a venture capital-backed financial technology platform that provides SMEs an innovative working capital solution. Federico was previously a Managing Director at Rocket Internet (ETR:RKET) where he was pivotal in scaling technology ventures in Asia Pacific and Africa. His most notable involvements where in Lazada (acquired by Alibab;, NYSE: BABA), Jumia (IPO’ed; NYSE: JMIA) and The Iconic. He holds a master’s degree in Marine Geology of Ghent University and is a Young Talent fellow at IESE Business School. Federico also advises the EU Commission on its innovation and entrepreneurship agenda.
  7. Justine Henin

    Justine Henin

    On 7 June 2002, Justine Henin entered history as the first Belgian player to win a Grand Slam tournament when she beat her countrywoman Kim Clijsters at Roland Garros. Semi-finalist at Wimbledon, she then moved on from victory to victory among which a second Grand Slam tournament: the US Open. By the end of 2003, these two feats had raised her to World n°1. In 2004, she continued along this successful way and won the Australian Open as well as Dubai and Indian Wells tournaments. After the cytomegalovirus forced her to stop playing, she took up competition again and won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Athens. In 2005, she withdrew from Sydney’s tournament and from the Australian Open because of a knee injury. But she was back on Miami’s courts in March. She also got her second title at Roland Garros. In 2006, Justine reached the finals in the four Grand Slam tournaments. She won Sydney’s tournament but withdrew during the Australian Open’s final because of stomach cramps. She met up with her public again in Paris where she signed her third Roland Garros title. 2007 was genuinely Justine’s best year. She won 10 tournaments out of 14, two of which were Grand Slam championships. All in all, her victories amounted to 63 the last 25 of which were successive. She was also elected Belgian Sports Woman of the Year for the fourth time (after 2003, 2004 and 2006). In addition, she was awarded World Sports Woman of the Year for the first time as athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods and Yelena Isinbayeva had been in similar categories. In 2008, the champion, tired and in deep need for knowing herself outside of tennis, announced her decision to retire although she was still the World number 1. It was a first in the history of tennis. Justine then dedicated herself to various charities. She became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Belgium. She also dedicated herself completely to her own association, « Justine For Kids », the purpose of which is to help develop and fund original projects meant to bring sick children and their families assistance, joy and comfort. From her professional beginnings in 1999 to her decision to retire, Justine Henin counted 41 victories in WTA 7 of which were Grand Slam tournaments (4 Roland Garros titles, 2 US Open titles and 1 Australian Open title), 2 Masters, 1 Fed Cup and 1 Olympic gold medal won in Athens in 2004. Throughout her career she won 424 matches 334 of which in two sets. In addition, Justine ranked WTA n°1 for 117 weeks.
  8. Jérôme Pezé

    Jérôme Pezé

    Chief Executive Officer and Founder Tinubu Square. Graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Stanford Business School and the ESC Reims Business School (France), and spent time with the French Military Academy (IHEDN). Jérôme held a role with the Conseiller du Commerce Extérieur de la France, and is a member of the Commission de l’Intelligence Economique. He also served in the French Military Operational Reserve (Chief of Staff Dept.). After 10 years’ experience in the Audit Department at Arthur Andersen and Renault S.A and Finance Department at Paribas Group, Jérôme joined Euler-Hermes. For 10 years, he played a leading role within the Euler Hermes Group developing both its international risk expertise and its international network, and was closely involved in many of the organisation’s international acquisitions and openings. Jérôme held a number of leading management positions including Head of Risk at Sfac, Director Commercial and Strategy of Euler-Sfac, COO of Euler-Cobac Benelux, Director Risk U/W of Euler Trade Indemnity, Chairman of Euler Risk Asia and Chairman of Group Country Risk Committee. In 2000, Jérôme Pezé and Olivier Placca launched Tinubu Square, the first European company expert in trade credit management. Jérôme is currently President of Tinubu Square.
  9. Jörg Diewald

    Jörg Diewald

    Jörg Diewald is the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Board Member of solarisBank, headquartered in Berlin. With more than 25 years of experience in banking, Diewald is an expert in building and managing commercial organizations in the banking and FinTech industry. Before joining solarisBank in September, 2018, he was 16 years Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Board Member of GE Capital Bank AG and TARGO Commercial Finance AG as well as involved in many FinTech initiatives and active on the Advisory Board of Billie. Diewald started his career with Commerzbank and was holding different management positions with Dresdner Bank and Landesbank Sachsen. Since 2007 he was a member of the Executive Board and CCO for Germany and Benelux for the US based General Electric group. He was responsible for all of the lending, factoring, leasing and fleet management units in the respective countries. Besides his commercial responsibilities, Diewald were focusing on FinTech-cooperations with a national and international scope. On the board he was also responsible for innovation and product development as well as for Tech and Operations. Diewald combines a strong commercial attitude with a high Tech affinity.
  10. Koen De Leus

    Koen De Leus

    Koen De Leus (b. 1969 in Bonheiden) graduated in Commercial Science from the Saint Aloysius Economics High School (EHSAL). Working as an analyst for a daughter company of Uitgeversbedrijf Tijd, he was from 1998 onwards closely involved in the design and calculation of European sector indices. From 2004 to January 2006 he was Chief Economist for Uitgeversbedrijf Tijd, the company which publishes business daily newspaper De Tijd and investment journal De Belegger. From 2006 to July 2012, Koen served as a Market Strategist at Bolero, the online broker of KBC Securities, before moving over to take up the post of Senior Economist at the parent company KBC in August 2012. Since September 2016 he is Chief Economist at BNP Paribas Fortis. He is also a guest lecturer in ‘Behavioral Finance’ on the Investment Management programme at EHSAL Management School. Koen makes regular guest appearances on the news programmes of TV channels VRT, Kanaal Z and Tijd.tv and also on the radio and is frequently quoted in both the popular and the specialised financial press. In 2006, he published, along with co-author Paul Huybrechts, a book entitled Naar Grijsland (A Greying Country), an in-depth analysis of the social and economic consequences of an ageing population. The book was one of three works nominated for the ABN Amro Prize awarded for the non-fiction book of the year. In 2012 he published Gouden Beursleuzen (Golden Stock Market Tips), in which he reviewed and updated stock market tips from the world’s leading investors and examined the most common emotional traps into which investors frequently fall. In June 2017, Koen published his 3rd book about the digital revolution and its economic and social impact on our society : “The Winners' Economy: Challenges and opportunities of the digital economy”.
  11. Luc Arnouts

    Luc Arnouts

    Vice President and Director International Relations and Networks, Port of Antwerp. Mr. Luc Arnouts was born on November 26th 1962 and lives close to Antwerp, Belgium. He is married and has three children. He obtained a Master in Law at the University of Antwerp and a Master in General Management at the University of Ghent. He has been active in the port and logistics sector ever since. He started his career and gained operational experience in stevedoring, warehousing and ocean freight forwarding at the logistics company Group Katoennatie from 1986 until 1992. In 1992, he moved to SGS-Group Belgium where he officiated as General Manager of SGS-Van Bree. He was Member of the Central Management Committee and the Strategic Committee. He was in charge of the logistics and port handling business of SGS in Belgium. Aviapartner, European leading airporthandling company became his new employer in 2000, where he held the position of VP Cargo Handling Europe and was Member of the Central Board. In 2007, he joined the Antwerp Port Authority as Chief Commercial Officer. Since mid 2017 he holds the function of Director International Relations and Networks. As Vice President he is member of the Management Board.
  12. Luuc Mannaerts

    Luuc Mannaerts

    Luuc is CEO of October Nederland, the largest (crowd-)lending platform for SMEs in continental Europe. He is passionate about supporting (fast-growing) companies. And with a great appetite for technology and innovation, his ambition to improve the European financial system. Luuc brings 25 years of experience in finance and a deep knowledge of the European and especially Dutch Corporate and SME financing. Luuc joined ABN AMRO Bank in 1994. During the first 10 years he worked in the Investment Banking Division (M&A advisory), before moving to the Dutch business as chairman of the management team Corporate Clients Rotterdam. Having grown this business substantially, Luuc was appointed CEO of ABN AMRO Commercial Finance. This subsidiary, with over 500 employees, specializes in SME financing in the Netherlands, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Luuc completed a Master in Business Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Advanced Management Program at Insead. He fulfills various non-executive positions with profit and not-for-profit organizations, including President of the Supervisory Board of the foundation Stichting MKB Financiering.
  13. Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger

    Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger

    Margrith has worked in trade finance for most of her professional life. At WestLB, she was Managing Director responsible for their global trade finance activities and then as CEO of FIMBank in Malta, the trade finance specialist, for 12 years during which time they acquired London Forfaiting Company. She also served as Chairman of International Factors Group and supported the merger with Factor Chain International, now FCI, the One Voice for the receivable finance industry.
  14. Mark Mandula

    Mark Mandula

    Mark is an internationally recognized speaker, author, serial entrepreneur and servant leader. He is Senior Vice President of United Capital Funding (a Tampa Bay, Florida B2B and B2G SME commercial finance professional services firm). He was Principal/Managing Partner from 2000 to 2017 when the firm was acquired and has also served in a National Sales Director capacity. Since formation, United has grown 80X in Annual Employed Capital to B2B and B2G SMEs and is projected to exceed $1 Billion in NFE in 2023. Prior to joining United Capital in 2000, he was Principal and Shareholder in an Investment Banking Firm that completed over 200 Bank Industry Mergers and Acquisitions over a 20+ year span. Following that, he was Owner and CEO of a leading Credit Industry business and was nominated as an Entrepreneur of the Year. He holds an MBA and BBA in Finance and is a 2012 graduate of the Certificate in Private Capital Markets from the Graziadio Graduate School of Business at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. He has been actively involved in multiple Nonprofit Boards including Eckerd College, Tampa Bay Research Institute and others. He is also Managing Partner for FINNOVATION that provides the highest quality and researched presentations to trade associations and SMEs globally. He believes that “power in knowledge, but only when shared.” Mark is a very passionate advocate for SMEs globally and has had the honor to speak all over the world educating entrepreneurs that they have many choices when it comes to how to fund and grow their businesses. He has been invited to speak and participate in presentations/groups in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Vienna, Rome, Tianjin, China, Istanbul, Warsaw, Lisbon, Brussels, Slovenia, Beijing, Dubai, Egypt, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle and a bunch of other places he can’t recall. That is a lot of frequent flyer miles, for sure! Mark is a regular speaker and has participated in over 250 international conferences and has had more than 1,000 articles published online and ABA Banking Journal, Mergers & Acquisitions, BCR, FCI and other commercial finance global industry publications both online and in hard copy. He has also authored several editions of the World Factoring Yearbook, published by FCI and BCR on a global basis.
  15. Michael Guerin

    Michael Guerin

    Michael Guerin is the founder and CEO of ClearPort. Based out of San Francisco in the US, ClearPort is a technology enabled lender providing cross border trade credit to SMEs. Prior to ClearPort, Michael headed international partnerships at Kabbage, the US’ leading online small business lender, and provided business development support to venture-backed firms through his consultancy, Red Bridge Ventures. Michael began his career as an exporter, eventually became an international trade specialist for the US Commerce Department, and was an international equity analyst before advising on LSE and NYSE IPOs as the Russian-regional head of London-based Financial Dynamics (now FTI). Michael earned his MBA at London Business School and his BA at Earlham College in the US.
  16. Richard Hawkins

    Richard Hawkins

    Founder of Atlantic RMS Group with offices in Chicago and London. Expert in International Collateral Diligence, Risk Management, Strategic Consulting, Work Outs and Cross Border Field Exams. Lecturer and Presenter at various conferences in USA and Europe. Provides specialised in House Training in respect of Asset Based Lending, Risk and International Trade. Specialties : Consulting, Advisory, Cross Border Finance, Trade Finance, Training and Trouble Shooting.
  17. Steve Box

    Steve Box

    Steve is an Industry Expert with over 35 years of extensive experience in banking and working capital in global markets. He currently holds several Senior Strategic positions for a number of NBFI fintech companies and industry associations, including: • Chairman of both Accelerated Payments Ltd. and Smart Business Link Ltd. • Strategic Advisor to WOA (World of Open Account), Lendscape, CF2H and OCI Ltd, • Ambassador at Channel Capital Advisors LLP • Founder and MD of Kata Executive Consulting Ltd. Steve has previously held a variety of domestic and international roles, including Head of Europe/UK at Falcon Group, International CEO of Europe/Asia and North America at Bibby Financial Services, Global Head of Receivables Finance at HSBC (operating across 30 countries), European Head of Trade, Supply Chain, Commodities and Receivables Finance and CEO at HSBC Invoice Finance (UK) Ltd, Trade Finance and Equipment Finance Ltd (UK) and has been a Strategic Adviser to Hitachi Capital, Drayton Finch and Muse Ltd. He was previously Chairman of the Asset Based Finance Association (UK), Board and an Exec Committee member of both International Factors Group and Factors Chain International.
  18. Steven van der Hooft

    Steven van der Hooft

    Steven is the founder and CEO of Capital Chains (2015), a Dutch company specializing in consultancy and training on end-to-end working capital optimization and financial supply chain management issues. Steven has been involved in the setup and roll out of working capital projects for both banks and large corporates around the world and has a strong focus on SCF program design and implementation. He gained his experience in financial supply chain management through (consulting) roles at ING, Capgemini Consulting and Inchainge, and holds a master’s degree in International Economics and Finance from Tilburg University (NL). His main area of interest is the interaction between the physical and the financial supply chain, as well as the required change processes for the organization from a client/supplier and employee perspective. The ultimate objective for Capital Chains’ is to turn Financial Supply Chains into value creators as they are “financial game changers”. Steven is a father of three (young) sons and enjoys cooking and spending quality time with family and friends. He is also a sports fanatic with a long history in training and coaching field hockey.
  19. Tim Nicolle

    Tim Nicolle

    Founder and CEO of PrimaDollar



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