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  • Board of Directors


    Layla A. Hollender

    President & CEO

    Ms. Hollender is an accomplished business executive with over 35 years of financial services experience, from international banking to investment banking, project and trade structure finance, as well as various domestic specialty finance products and services. Ms. Hollender has held various positions in international banking, with geographical responsibilities from South America to Europe. In 1990, Layla was a cofounder of Saenz Hofmann Financial, a boutique merchant bank specializing in sovereign and corporate debt advisory services, as well as trade finance and Governmental export/import programs.

    In 2010 Ms. Hollender founded TradeRiver USA, a non-bank online funding solution which finances trade, both cross-border and within the US. TradeRiver USA’s state of the art paperless purchasing system works by providing the Buyer, at any point in the supply chain, with a pre-approved revolving cash facility that can be used to finance trade with multiple suppliers.

    Layla received a BA from Bates College in 1978, with a double major in political science and theatre/speech. In 1981, Ms. Hollender received an MA in International Business and Economics from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. Ms. Hollender is fluent in five languages, including French, German, Spanish and Italian.


    Richard Fossett

    Executive Director

    Mr. Fossett is a founding shareholder of TradeRiver Finance Ltd and its original product/service conceptualizer. He is presently the Chief Executive Officer of TradeRiver Finance and also manages the TradeRiver UK management and sales team.

    Mr. Fossett was the COO of a Bahrain based USD 400 million turnover UK listed trade finance company beginning in 2003. He has extensive knowledge and experience of the global credit insurance market, with close relationships to all the major insurers.

    Richard’s career started in the hospitality industry and has 25 years experience in hotel management operations with Sheraton Hotels Middle East – becoming the youngest General Manager in the Sheraton Group at age 29. His postings included senior management positions in Iraq, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo as well as 15 years as General Manager of Sheraton Jeddah, Bahrain and Amman hotels.


    Jay Chall

    Non-Executive Director

    Mr. Chall is a senior banking executive with extensive experience in business development and transaction origination for bank, insurance and reinsurance companies, specialty finance firms, investment managers and hedge funds. He has a proven track record of managing credit risk through many economic cycles including successful restructurings and workouts. Hands on leader with sound business judgment and analytic abilities.

    Mr. Chall is currently consulting to small/medium sized Financial Institutions specializing in Loan production, Risk management, Capital allocation and model design, Asset valuation, and Restructurings/Reorganizations.

    Mr. Chall’s began his banking career with RBC Royal Bank rising to Vice President of Corporate Banking during his 13 year tenure, then moving on as VP and Corporate Banking Team Leader with Credit Agricole, NY, and then ending with Credit Suisse after 25 years as a Director responsible for all financial institutions in the United States.

    Mr. Chall received a BA in Finance from City University of New York-Baruch College in 1970.


    Steven L. Shea

    Non-Executive Director

    Mr. Shea is a financial industry executive with thirty years of experience in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity capital markets. In depth knowledge of investment research and management and equity sales and trading gained through management responsibility in both the securities and funds management industry. He has extensive familiarity with critical aspects of the securities, brokerage and funds management industry through board and executive committee participation and governance.

    He is presently President and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hardesty Capital Management Corporation. Hardesty is an investment management firm with discretionary investment authority in excess of $700,000,000 for corporations, institutions, and high net worth individuals.

    Mr. Shea illustrious career has spanned many financial institutions in Maryland, from Vice President at Maryland National Bank, and Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company to Executive Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors with Ferris, Baker Watts.

    Mr. Shea has served as a Member of the Board of Directors, Nominating, Audit and Compensation Committees of Blonder Tongue Laboratories (NYSE: BDR) since 2009.

    Mr. Shea received his BA degree in 1981 from Tulane.


    Andrew Whelan

    Non-Executive Director

    Andrew Whelan is the CEO of GLI Finance, which is a UK listed (quoted on AIM) business that provides alternative finance to Small and Medium sized Enterprises. GLI has exposure to alternative finance platforms; covering peer to peer, marketplace, and balance sheet lenders. Andrew has over 25 years financial experience and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

    Prior to founding Sancus, one of GLI’s core niche lending businesses, in 2013, Andrew was a founding partner of Ermitage Group following its MBO in 2006 from Liberty Life. He was also CIO of Ermitage’s Wealth Management business and during his 10 year tenure won multiple investment awards.

    Andrew started his career in the UK “blue chip” merchant banking sector and spent 7 years in both Morgan Grenfell and Kleinwort Benson, which respectively became part of Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank. At Dresdner Bank he was a member of their senior investment committee.

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