Corporate Vision March 2017

30 CORPORATE VISION / March 2017 , Will Nagle, of Falcon Group, talks about the global economic climate and how the firmhas helped shape the future of finance. Flying High Falcon Group is a global specialist financier focused on trade and corporate funding. The firm provides tailored and flexible financing options that enable companies to enhance operations, grow quickly and efficiently, and reach their business ambitions. Founded over 20 years ago, Falcon predominantly provides financing to mid-cap or large corporates, operating across the global trade industry. Will Nagle tells us more about the firm’s overall mission and the steps it takes to achieve its objectives. “Trade finance is complex, and not all providers have the flexibility or inclination to provide for every unique need. We do,” states Will. “Today, that effort is even more important: the trade finance gap is currently estimated by the Asian Development Bank to stand at $1.6 trillion. That is a lot of trade that lacks the necessary funding, harming not only individual companies and supply chains, but the economy as a whole. While such a gap cannot be filled by one party alone, we are determined to do our part and make a valuable contribution to real trade world.” The trade and corporate finance environment thrives on collaboration, not competition, and Will goes into depth about what it is that sets Falcon apart from the competition and marks it out as the best option for clients. “We collaborate with global banks, insurers, export credit agencies, and other financiers to ensure that we can collectively create solutions that comprehensively address the needs of each client. There is plenty of room in the trade and corporate funding arena, and diversification makes an industry more secure. Recently, Falcon has collaborated with institutions such as UK Export Finance and Aon – which in turn, provides both with a resource they can tap should their clients require specialist solutions. “What we bring to the party is a combination of flexibility and expertise. We’re smaller than global banks, which allows us to work closely and quickly with clients. We are less restricted by regulatory accords such as Basel III, purely because we don’t accept deposits, which allows us to sculpt solutions around our clients’ needs. Furthermore, we have the trade and corporate expertise to understand the challenges and opportunities facing each client, in each market we serve. Finally, we have the global reach to help clients expand to new markets, and the on-the-ground support to make them a success.” Will provides a brief overview of the industry in the region, explaining that there has recently been a transformation in terms of the composition of the banking ecosystem. “Pre-crisis, global banks were undoubtedly the dominant player – providing most corporates with all of their financing needs,” says Will. “Now, the implementation of Basel III (and its future iterations), as well as stringent compliance measures, means that global banks are withdrawing their services worldwide. This is particularly severe in emerging markets, across the trade finance industry, and when it comes to providing for mid-cap corporates or SMEs – the backbone to the global economy. “Add to this the rise of protectionism and political risk globally, and cross-border trade faces a host of challenges. As banks retrench, Falcon’s mission is to ensure that funding continues to be made available for trade.” Staying ahead of the curve with regards to emerging trends and new developments is of high importance to Falcon in order to keep informed and to consistently support its clients, preparing them for any foreseeable challenges that may arise. “We believe one way to stay ahead of emerging developments is to have a hand, however small, in shaping them. We work closely with organisations such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) so that we can provide feedback to governments and policy-makers and ensure the interests of our clients are represented. “Finally, when we are able to anticipate a change, we prepare for it well in advance. For instance, while specialist financiers are not regulated in the same way as global banks, we expect this to change in the future. Rather than exposing our clients to the upheaval of a sudden change in regulation, we have prepared by seeking regulation where available – our Dubai entity is regulated by the DFSA – and implemented the internal structures and measures so that we act as if we were regulated even before we are. We are also rated by the three leading ratings agencies: S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch – a clear sign of our strong reputation, as well as our eagerness to be transparent and open.” Will and the team at Falcon are looking forward to a bright future, and are fully focussed on the next step in terms of evolution. “While our success so far is thanks to our ability to identify gaps and fill them – and thus we will continue to steadily grow – we want to make sure we grow in the right way,” comments Will. “We want to build our internal ecosystem, and ensure we have the back-end support to face the risks and challenges that exist across the global economy. Furthermore, while we certainly want to expand our global footprint, we also want to strengthen networks in the regions we are already based. This year, for instance, we have opened a second office in Australia to expand our reach in the region, and we are in the process of extending our coverage across the whole of the UK to ensure no corner is forgotten. “Companies, regardless of the political or economic situation, will always require funding. Our role is to be a reliable and sophisticated partner, regardless of the volatile backdrop. “ 1702CV54