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  • David Abshier
  • Managing Director
  • Berkeley Research Group
  • Mr. David Abshier has over 25 years of banking and executive management experience in a variety of functions, including: management and regulatory consulting/advisory, expert testimony, chief credit officer, risk assessment manager, corporate compliance manager, senior federal bank examiner, financial and credit analyst, and branch operations officer. He provides consulting and advisory services to financial institutions throughout the United States and overseas, including services related to strategic planning, financial analysis, organizational assessments, director and management reviews, credit risk management, commercial and residential mortgage loan underwriting and securitization, loan servicing, litigation support, corporate governance, enterprise-wide risk management, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering, consumer compliance laws and protections, general bank practices, enforcement actions, and regulatory issues.

  • Manet Badalyan
  • Director, Trade Finance
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Ms. Manet Badalyan is a Director whose responsibilities include managing trade finance product structuring and delivery at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). SVB provides Trade Finance services to companies in the technology, life science, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SVB operates in centers of innovation around the world. Ms. Badalyan is directing a team of experienced Trade Finance advisors who provide Trade Finance solutions to clients in various innovation sectors of economy. Prior to SVB, she worked at Bank of America for 11 years with the primary responsibility for structuring and delivery of standby letters of credit, acting as Assistant Vice President.

  • Michael Baker
  • Professor
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Mr. Michael Baker has practiced international trade law for the past 41 years. He teaches classes at UCLA (for the past 29 years) such as ‘International Business Law’; ‘Advanced Import techniques’; ‘Export documentation Banking and Transportation’; ‘Global Currency Management.’ He has had an FMC freight forwarders license and a Customhouse Brokers license. Professor Baker’s practice is concentrated in international trade, customs, and corporate law. He has set up international businesses in China, Japan, Mexico, and Latin America. He acts as a general counsel for 4 companies in the Los Angeles area. He, of course, has been your JUDGE for the past 4 years.

  • Steven Bash
  • Senior Vice President and Manager
  • International Banking & Trade Finance
  • City National Bank
  • Mr. Steven Bash is Senior Vice President and Manager of City National Bank’s International Banking & Trade Finance department. He oversees the bank’s trade finance, trade services, supply chain programs, international credit and portfolio management, risk mitigation, global correspondent banking, and trade advisory services. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of leadership roles with other global financial institutions, including a posting as Managing Director, Hong Kong Branch for CoreStates Bank from 1989-1992. He currently serves as an appointee to the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFCA.), a nonpartisan group of 20 private sector individuals, working on recommendations to increase access to export financing for U.S. small and medium size companies.

  • Chetan Cariappa
  • Senior Manager, Financial Crime Compliance
  • SWIFT
  • Mr. Chetan Cariappa is a Senior Business Manager and Practice Lead for Compliance Services at SWIFT. Based in New York, he is responsible for the sales and marketing of the SWIFT Compliance Suite in North America. Mr. Cariappa is recognized as an expert in the fields of Fraud Control, KYC, Sanctions Screening and Testing services, as well as AML analytics. Prior to this, he looked after SWIFT’s Business Intelligence suite for the Americas, offering data analytics solutions and services to banks and corporations in North America and Latin America. Mr. Cariappa was previously in the role of Technical Account Manager for Key Clients, responsible for architecting and enhancing SWIFT infrastructure at global transaction banks and project managing large customer implementations.

  • Raymond Cho
  • Head of NA Banking Business Development
  • SWIFT
  • Mr. Raymond Cho heads the North American Banking Business Development team at SWIFT. Most recently, he oversaw strategic initiatives for the Chief Commercial Credit Officer at Capital One. Prior, Mr. Cho managed the client portfolios at Standard Chartered Bank and has held a variety of transaction banking and finance roles in the banking industry. Mr. Cho holds a MBA from the University of Virginia and a BS from Binghamton University.

  • Roger Ehrnman
  • Senior Risk Examiner
  • FDIC
  • Mr. Roger Ehrnman has over 27 years of regulatory supervision and banking experience. He joined the FDIC in 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. He left government service in 2004 to create and lead the Regulatory Risk Management Department at a multi-billion mortgage and commercial real estate financial institution. In 2008, he returned to government service as a Senior Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch and later returned to the FDIC in Los Angeles. Throughout his tenure, he has examined banks of all sizes, complexities and conditions. He serves as the regulatory accounting and capital markets specialist for the Los Angeles territory.

  • Stacey Facter
  • Senior Vice President of Trade Products
  • BAFT
  • Ms. Stacey Facter has been the Senior Vice President responsible for Trade Products at BAFT (“Bankers Association for Finance and Trade”), an affiliate of the American Bankers Association. She has oversight of all trade-related advocacy, education and product-related initiatives for the association and its membership. She participates in BAFT trade committees, product and regional councils as well as many other industry initiatives to advance the trade finance agenda of member institutions, including working toward standardizing trade definitions, documentation and regulations for industry adoption and consistent use.

  • Richard Finkelman
  • Partner
  • Vista Analytics
  • Mr. Richard Finkelman is a nationally recognized technology expert who brings more than 30 years of experience helping clients manage information and technology in litigation, compliance and business matters. His experience includes assisting clients with, systems implementations of in-house eDiscovery solutions, FCPA and compliance technologies, email archiving, and legal hold and information governance systems. Additionally, he has developed several SharePoint solutions for clients including internal department sites for compliance and legal holds, document and records management sites and forms sites. His litigation experience includes supporting and giving expert witness testimony. He has built and deployed in-house litigation support systems for companies and law firms that measurably improve efficiency and reduce costs. He has served clients across numerous industries, including manufacturing, entertainment, government, healthcare, financial, and consumer products.

  • Normand Girard, CDCS
  • Director, Global Trade Operations
  • BMO Financial Group
  • Mr. Normand Girard is Director, Global Trade Operations for BMO Financial Group. He is responsible for the Bank’s processing of all trade finance products in North America as well as process oversight in Europe and Asia. Mr. Girard has over 28 years of experience in Global Trade Operations at BMO Financial Group. During his career with the Bank, he has covered every role in Import, Export, Standby Letters of Credit and Collections as well as integral operations leadership roles throughout the evolution of BMO’s trade finance business. He is a Certified Documentary Credit Specialist and Chair of the BAFT National Commercial Letter of Credit Committee.

  • David J. Habib
  • International Trade Attorney
  • Law Office of David J. Habib
  • Mr. David Habib is an attorney with more than 30 years’ experience in international business. Following law school, he lived and worked abroad as an in-house counsel for Saudi Arabia’s national oil company – ARAMCO. He was then recruited as Managing Director of an international trading and project management company doing business in the Middle East, Africa, China, and Mexico. Mr. Habib has prepared hundreds of procurement and development contracts involving billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. goods and services, has negotiated and monitored execution of over 100 foreign bank Letters of Credit, and has structured the financing of millions of dollars’ worth of exports using U.S. and foreign banks.

  • Raja Hafeez, CDCS
  • Vice President, Global Trade Services Division
  • Frost Bank
  • Mr. Raja Hafeez is Vice President, Global Trade Services Division of Frost Bank, San Antonio, Texas. He has been with Frost for the last 9 years and is a key person for GTS initiatives and expansion. Mr. Hafeez brings more than 25 years of banking experience in different roles and levels from multiple banks and countries. He has a solid network with other bankers in the region, Asia and Europe. Mr. Hafeez holds the Certified Documentary Credit Specialist (CDCS) designation from BAFT.

  • Yasmin Kermalli, CDCS
  • Assistant Vice President
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Ms. Yasmin Kermalli is Assistant Vice President and Service Center Coordinator in Global Trade Operations, Commercial Letters of Credit department at Bank of America in Los Angeles. She joined Bank of America thirty years ago, and has been in Trade Finance over twenty five years. Prior to joining Bank of America, Ms. Kermalli was with The HSBC Group as Office Manager in their Merchant Banking arm in Dubai, UAE. Ms. Kermalli is currently Vice Chair for West Coast BAFT Regional Letter of Credit Committee.

  • Adam Jiwan
  • CEO
  • Spring Labs
  • Mr. Adam Jiwan is an established fin-tech entrepreneur, with more than 15 years of experience founding, investing and growing companies in the space. Before Spring Labs, Mr. Jiwan was a seed investor and founding board member of Avant. He was also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Future Finance, a student loan platform that’s raised more than $325M. Mr. Jiwan also acted as the CEO of UK/Asia for TPG-Axon, and held roles at Goldman Sachs, Soros Fund Management, and the Blackstone Group.

  • Don Kurtz
  • Vice President
  • City National Bank
  • Mr. Donald Kurtz is Vice President in City National Bank’s International Banking Department with 30 plus years’ international banking experience, including 25 years with City National Bank. As part of the Trade Sales & Advisory Group, he is responsible for the development and direct sales of trade products and services to new and existing client relationships by supporting and coordinating the international business development activities of CNB Southern California line units. Prior to joining City National Bank, Mr. Kurtz held a variety of management roles on both marketing and operations side for foreign and domestic banks, including Mitsubishi Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation, and Bangkok Bank.

  • Agnes Martinez
  • Vice President and Department Manager
  • City National Bank
  • Ms. Agnes Martinez is Vice President and Department Manager for International Trade Services at City National Bank, responsible for managing day-to-day activities associated with Trade Finance. Ms. Martinez worked at J.P. Morgan managing their Global Trade West Coast Division prior to joining City National Bank. She also worked at HSBC as supervisor in their letter of credit department. She is the Past Chairperson for BAFT South West Regional Leter of Credit committee that she chaired for four years, and is currently Vice Chair for BAFT National Commercial Committee.

  • Talal Mahmud
  • Regional Head, FCC Trade
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Mr. Talal Mahmud is in the financial crime compliance (FCC) function at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) USA looking after Advisory Function for Transaction Banking and Corporate Finance. But his primary area of expertise and coverage is to manage the FCC risk for Trade Finance business in Americas. He is also the chair of the BAFT Trade Compliance Committee. Mr. Mahmud has over 19 years of experience across Trade Finance, Treasury Operations, Transaction Banking Sale, Product Management, Corporate Banking Relationship Management, Operational Risk and now FCC. His career has seen him work in South Asia, Middle East and ASEAN before his move to USA in 2015.

  • Andrew Meli
  • Bank Examiner
  • FDIC
  • Mr. Andrew Meli is a Commissioned Risk Management Examiner and has been with the FDIC since 2012. He serves as Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) subject matter expert for the Los Angeles Territory and has led and participated on BSA examinations of banks with varying sizes, complexities, and risk profiles. More recently, he has become involved in various projects and examinations relating to financial technology (fintech) with a focus on marketplace lending. Mr. Meli is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and later worked for the IRS as a Revenue Agent. He also held several audit and compliance positions at larger financial institutions.

  • Noor Menai
  • President and CEO
  • CTBC Bank
  • Mr. Noor Menai is President & CEO of CTBC Bank Corp. USA (formally Chinatrust Bank), where he oversees its North American operations including the bank’s Commercial and Industrial and Commercial Real Estate lending groups as well as 12 branches in California, New Jersey and New York. He also oversees North American operations for the parent bank, CTBC Bank. He was named President & CEO of the bank in November of 2012. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and North America Regional Head of CTBC where he has had responsibility for US and Canada Corporate and Commercial Real Estate, Trade, Cash, F/X, Asset Based Lending, Syndications and Participations & Advisory, business lines and trade finance for the China/North America Trade Corridor.

  • Walter J. Mix III
  • Managing Director and Financial Services Practice Group Leader
  • Berkeley Research Group
  • Mr. Walter J. Mix III is a Managing Director and heads the Financial Services practice at Berkeley Research Group. He is a former commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and also previously served as a banking executive at Union Bank of California. He advises domestic and international bank clients on corporate governance, risk management, strategic planning, and financial advisory assignments. He has significant experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, enterprise risk management, regulatory compliance, and capital planning. He joined BRG from LECG, LLC and before that The Secura Group; serving as managing director in both firms. He serves as chairman of the International Bankers Association of California.

  • Mark Nolte
  • Supervisory Examiner
  • FDIC
  • Mr. Mark Nolte began his career with the FDIC in 1990 as an Assistant Examiner in the FDIC’s Los Angeles, California office. He became a Commissioned Bank Examiner in January 1994. Mr. Nolte subsequently became a Case Manager in the FDIC’s Kansas City, Missouri, Regional Office in 2003, where he managed a portfolio of banks in the states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. He returned to Southern California in March 2009 in his present capacity. During Mr. Nolte’s 29 year career with the Corporation, he has participated in the examination of numerous financial institutions, ranging from $10 million to $125 billion in total assets.

  • Michael Nonaka
  • Partner
  • Covington & Burling
  • Mr. Michael Nonaka is co-chair of Covington’s Financial Services Group and advises banks, financial services providers, and non-bank companies on a broad range of compliance, enforcement, transactional, and legislative matters. He has worked extensively with federal and state banking agencies and with other federal agencies authorized to regulate financial services. Mr. Nonaka also plays an active role in the firm’s Fintech Initiative and works with a number of banks, lending companies, money transmitters, payments firms, technology companies, and service providers on innovative technologies such as blockchain, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, big data, cloud computing, same day payments, and online lending.

  • Vincent J. Novak
  • Senior Associate
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Mr. Vincent Novak is a finance attorney at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco. He represents public and private companies, private equity sponsors, financial institutions, renewable energy investors and emerging and multinational companies in connection with domestic and cross0border financial transactions. He assists clients in both secured and unsecured loans and revolving facilities, bilateral and syndicated lending, acquisition finance, asset and cash0flow based lending, letter of credit financing, debtor-in-possession financing in bankruptcy proceedings and complex royalty financing in connection with investment in and development of renewable energy projects. He also has expertise in bankruptcy and insolvency transactions and proceedings.

  • Rita Ricci, CDCS
  • Executive Global Trade Advisor
  • BNP Paribas
  • Ms. Rita Ricci is the Executive Global Trade Advisor of BNP Paribas with over 35 years of experience in trade finance operations. Ms. Ricci joined BNP Paribas in 2003. Prior to then, she worked for CIBC based in Montreal with the responsibility for operational delivery of trade products, acting as a Trade Consultant, providing workshops, and advising legal counsel on trade-related matters. She was the Chairman of BAFT’s LC Committee, Chairman of BAFT’s Bank to Bank Reimbursements Committee and was on the CDCS Item Writing Committee. Ms. Ricci is currently the Chairman of the ICC Canada National Committee and is a member of the ICC Banking Commission and the IIBLP Advisory Council on International Standby Practices.

  • Francisco Rodriguez, CDCS
  • Officer/Client Services Consultant
  • Wells Fargo Bank NA
  • Mr. Francisco Rodriguez has over thirty-five years of experience working in Global Trade Operations of several major banks. His interaction with custom brokers, document preparation services, freight forwarders, among others has enabled him to help the banks customers in the import, export trading areas, as well as Standby L/C’s. Mr. Rodriguez is a current certified documentary credit specialist sanctioned by BAFT. He received his Global Logistics Specialist’s certification from California State University – Long Beach. He is the current Chair of BAFT West Coast Regional L/C Committee.

  • Subha Srinivas
  • Operations Manager – AVP
  • U.S. Bank NA
  • Ms. Subha Srinivas is a Project Management and Documentary Credit Specialist with 10+ years of overall experience in International trade finance operations, Compliance, AML, Quality Assurance, Business Analysis in Banking Operations and technology related projects. She has proven experience in managing multiple teams and handling complex trade process functions (Issuance, Advising, Negotiation- Document examination, Payment, Collections) across different geographical regions and time zones. Ms. Srinivas has proficiently managed operations teams and has gained international working experience through extensive traveling to various countries such as Dubai, Australia, Fiji, Taiwan and Singapore for training and migration projects.

  • Gregory Stout
  • Special Agent
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Mr. Gregory M. Stout is a special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. Special Agent Stout is a career federal employee and has worked for the United States Navy, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations. Special Agent Stout has conducted various investigations related to National Security, Trade Based Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture and Child Exploitation.