Channel Capital Advisors LLP
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Meet the team


Walter Gontarek

Chief Executive & Chairman

Walter Gontarek is a co-founder of Channel Capital Advisors in 2006 and is the firm’s CEO and executive committee chairman. Walt previously founded and served as global head of credit products at the Royal Bank of Canada and has worked in the City and on Wall Street in various senior capital markets roles. He also served as president of a retail banking platform in the US. Walter holds a doctorate in finance from Cranfield University and an MBA (Finance) from NYU Stern, and has published in leading academic journals on risk governance issues. Walt is a visiting fellow of Cranfield University where he lectures on risk governance and regulation, as well FinTech developments. He serves on financial services companies boards and was a named a financial market expert by PRIME finance at its inaugural meeting at the Peace Palace, The Hague in 2012.

Paul Wilson

Chief Investment Officer

Paul Wilson has over 17 years’ experience of investing in credit and structured finance markets globally. He was previously a senior portfolio manager at BlueMountain Capital Management, investing in structured finance and other credit products. Prior to this he was managing director and global head of structured credit markets at Credit Agricole. Before this he was head of credit correlation trading at Citibank for Europe. He began his career trading credit products at Morgan Stanley where he spent 7 years and was an Executive Director. He holds an MPhys in Mathematical Physics and an MSc in Financial Mathematics from the University of Edinburgh. Paul sits on the firm’s executive committee, risk committee and managing partners committee.

Deborah Hutchinson

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah joined Channel at the start of 2007 as a co-founding partner responsible for operations, finance, compliance and human capital. She oversees the day-to-day operation of the firm. Before joining Channel, Deborah worked for Rabobank in London as global business manager for all capital markets activities, overseeing budgeting, planning and administrative functions for the global business unit. Deborah holds a BSc from the London School of Economics (LSE) and is a Chartered Accountant.  Deborah is a member of the risk and managing partners committees and chairs the firm’s management committee. She has responsibility for human capital development, a key area of focus for Channel today as it expands it product and geographical reach.

Varda Shine

Deputy Chairman

Varda has over 30 years’ experience in the ultimate luxury goods product arena, joining De Beers in 1984 and became CEO of the De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) from 2006 until 2014. In 2013. She successfully completed one of the largest transfers of economic activity from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere – the multibillion dollar relocation of the DTC business from the UK to Botswana – after which Varda stepped down as CEO to pursue a portfolio career. Working across borders, she has continually developed pioneering approaches to collaborating with government partners from Southern Africa to Canada. She has overseen the creation of an international network of public/private joint-venture operations in multi-cultural environments, dealing with complex supply chain issues while delivering on the expectations of major international stakeholder relations. Varda has completed business and management courses at Templeton College, Oxford, Cranfield and INSEAD.  She is or has been a NED, board member or advisor at Petra Diamonds, Vulcan Cyber, the Mineral Development Company of Botswana (Pty) Co., and Lonmin Plc. Varda is also a C-suite executive mentor to leading executives.

Richard Leong

Executive Committee Member

Richard is the Chief Investment Officer of Singapore based Lyon capital Management which has supported Channel across a number of its investment strategies over the past seven years. Previously, he served as managing director of the Flexo Manufacturing Corporation, Tigerpack Ltd in China, and SGS International Inc. Richard received his BS in economics concentrating in decision sciences from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jack Caouette

Executive Committee Member

Jack has been chairman of various portfolio companies affiliated with Channel since 2006. He is also member of the Executive Committee. Jack provides advise to the management team on strategic matters and liaises with key stakeholders and shareholders as needed. Jack previously served as senior banker in the capital markets business at Citibank in Asia and the US where he played a key role in the early days of the swap market . He founded CapMAC and served as CEO and Chairman, including its listing on the NYSE. He was named in March 2010 as non-executive Chairman of the Asset Protection Agency, an executive agency in the United Kingdom and subsidiary of HM Treasury, to help create a rescue for the banking crisis in the UK.  Jack holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BS from California State University, Long Beach. He is the co-author of Managing Credit Risk, published by Wiley & Sons in 2008 and 2014 with Dr Edward Altman and Paul Narayanan.

Marcus Fedder

Chairman, Advisory Board

Marcus has held senior leadership positions in investment and multi-lateral development banks, and in the microfinance sector. He was a Vice Chair of TD Securities for Europe and Asia/Pacific, Treasurer and previously Head of Asset & Liability Management at the EBRD, and also worked for the World Bank as a financial services executive.  He also worked in capital markets and banking at CIBC and Deutsche Bank. He presently is a non-executive director (NED) of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFI) where he chairs the audit committee and a NED at TCX where he also serves as chairman of the risk committee. Marcus holds a PhD from the Freie Universitat Berlin and graduates degrees from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.

James Sutcliffe

Advisory Board

Jim contributes to our panel with exceptional leadership from the financial services industry including serving as Group CEO of Old Mutual plc (wealth management and savings), CEO of Prudential UK (where he spent most of his career), and Chairman the Investment Committee at the £50 billion investment platform AJBell.  Jim is Chairman of Cover Genius, a 4 year old exciting Insurtech company selling 150,000 policies a month serving the largest eCommerce companies across 70 countries. Jim also is an advisory board member at, which is helping financial services firms compete in the digital age.

Susanne Chishti

Advisory Board

Susanne Chishti has over 20 years’ industry expertise, including board-level experience, with a strong focus on organisational governance and the small and medium size enterprise (SME) market. She helps to advise Channel on its use of FinTech tools to scale our AUM and improve customer experience as well as assessing our clients use of FinTech in their own operations. Her experience draws on 15 years in finance, having held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture. Susanne is the CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech opportunities. She is also the founder of the FINTECH Circle Institute, the leading fintech learning platform offering classroom innovation workshops and online courses to C-level executives. Susanne holds an MBA from Vienna University of Economics and Business. A bestselling author, Susanne co-edited “The FINTECH Book” series, which has been translated into 10 languages and sold across 107 countries. Her wealth of experience led her to being recognised in the European Digital Financial Services “Power 50” 2015, an independent ranking of the most influential people in digital financial services in Europe. In addition, she was selected as a “City Innovator – Inspirational Woman” in 2016. She has been a guest lecturer on financial technology at the University of Cambridge and has also appeared as a fintech commentator on CNBC

Lisa Gibbard

Advisory Board

Lisa is a specialist in financial services and technology, change management and cyber sectors. Lisa previously spent 13-years at Aspen Insurance as Chief of Operations and Technology where she led the transformation process for Business Transformation, IT Strategy & Operations, Finance Operations, Outwards Reinsurance Operations, Procurement and Facilities & Real Estate. She also focused on cyber and technology governance issues to better align this function to the business lines. Lisa holds a degree in Mathematics and BMA from Leeds Trinity University and attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. 

Duarte Pedreira

Advisory Board

Duarte has a considerable profile in global trade finance markets and advises our portfolio mangers on trade finance developments.  Duarte is Head of Trade Finance at the Crown Agents Bank, a UK based regulated provider of payments, cash management, trade finance, asset management and foreign exchange services to clients in developing markets, including Africa, the Caribbean, LATAM and Asia/Pacific as well as regional central banks.  Duarte is a board member and chairman of the Africa regional committee at the International Trade & Forfaiting Association.  He previously has held trade finance related positions at AIG, Standard Bank and Banif Bank.  Duarte holds a MSc from ICMA Center in International Securities, Investments & Banking.  In his spare time, Duarte is affiliated with the charity Shelter Them in Rwanda, as chairman. 

Hilmar Hauer

Head of Debt Products

Hilmar heads the debt products business at Channel which includes origination and overall structuring activities for debt-linked transactions. Hilmar leads the team for rated, un-rated, insured and un-insured working capital financings for our  issuing clients globally. Prior to joining Channel in 2007, Hilmar was a Quantitative Analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort. Hilmar holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham. He is a member of the risk committee.

Dan Luther

Head of Operations

Dan manages Channel’s operations and transaction management for working capital products, reporting to the COO.  This is a key role as once a new client is on-boarded, it is up to Dan and his team to manage the working capital and cash related flows of each transaction efficiently using the CREST software and other FinTech technologies. Dan joined Channel in 2014 from Trafigura where he supported the company’s trade receivables financing programme in several roles for 9 years, the majority of his tenure being Global Corporate Funding Manager. Dan managed the growth of the trade receivables financing programme from $325 million to over $2 billion, and also managed Trafigura’s non-transactional lending programmes and group liquidity position. In addition, his responsibilities included the development and testing of the IT requirements for various financing programmes, oversight of programme risk controls, limit and covenant compliance monitoring, senior authorisation of multi-currency cash payments, and external reporting. Dan holds a BSc in Economics with Econometrics from Kent University (1st Class) and a MSc in Economics from University College London.

David Allcock

Chief Technology Officer

Dave joined Channel in 2007 and is responsible for all systems and IT, including software development, infrastructure, network management and business continuity testing and planning. Dave is also responsible for our partnerships with FinTech service providers which permit us to efficiently scale our business, the CREST platform intellectual property asset and evaluating the use of technology by our financing clients as part of our due diligence.  Previously he was Head of Systems covering the Whistlejacket investment platform at Standard Chartered Bank. David holds an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering and a PhD in Gas Turbine Internal Aerodynamics from Cranfield University.

Philip Sullivan

Interim Chief Risk Officer

Philip joined CCA as a Risk Advisor in 2017 and became the Interim Chief Risk Officer at Channel in May of 2019. He oversees risk management, risk policy and the transaction approval process for all investment and working capital transactions globally. He previously worked for MBIA Inc in a variety of senior management roles, most recently at MBIA UK Insurance Limited (“MBIA UK”), where he served as Chief Risk Officer and chairing the Risk Oversight Committee. Prior to MBIA he worked for Bankers Trust Company in a variety of financing and trade financing roles. Philip holds an MBA from NYU and a BS from the University at Albany (NY).

Peter Burbank

Credit Risk & Risk Management

Peter is a director of credit risk and reports to Chief Investment Officer. He has extensive credit risk experience across banking and corporate markets, with a solid foundation gained across rating agency (DBRS, Moody’s, BankWatch), investment banking (JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch), fund management (Pictet, Swissre) and consulting (McKinsey). Peter holds an MBA from Columbia, an MA from Johns Hopkins and BA from Connecticut College.  

Ken Owen

Portfolio Management

Since joining Channel in 2014, Ken has served as a trade finance specialist within portfolio management. Prior, during the mid 1980s, he was the Deputy Manager of Trade and Commodity Finance at AMRO Bank, London. He then joined Moscow Narodny Bank Ltd in London as Manager of Trade Finance Marketing where he developed its syndication and credit process. From 2002-2011 he served as portfolio manager at HSH NordBank AG, growing the business to a €4 billion book of high quality trade finance loans, and also established the risk, middle office and operations framework.  Ken has served as Moderator for the International Trade Finance exam for the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and has been a speaker at the United Nations on the role of trade finance in the global economy.

Briana Long

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Before joining Channel in April 2019, Briana was based in New Zealand where she completed her studies in 2016 and started her career in Digital Marketing. Having worked for both large corporates and smaller bespoke companies, she has a well rounded portfolio to deliver all marketing needs.

Thomas Fisher

IT Infrastructure Manager

Tom is responsible for the continued maintenance and security of Channel’s IT infrastructure and related business continuity arrangements. He has previously performed service desk and network engineering functions at various organisations, as well as having experience in maintenance, evaluation, and testing of business continuity plans. Tom is a Certified Novell Engineer.

Elaine Colley

Finance and Operations Manager

Elaine joined Channel in 2007 and supports the finance, operations, and human resources functions of the business. She has supported various other Channel entities by providing accounting and other support services. Elaine has a CIMA foundation qualification.

Coming Soon

Katie Achaibou

Trade Finance Portfolio Manager

With close to 30 years’ experience in trade finance, Katie began her career at London Forfaiting Company, working on the origination, execution and distribution of emerging market trade finance business. Since then she has held trade finance roles at several major banks, including MUFG and HSH Nordbank, with a particular focus on commodity and structured trade finance portfolios. Most recently, she helped to establish Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s London trade finance business, managing CBA’s trade finance product offering for its Europe and US based clients. Katie holds a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages from The Queen’s College, Oxford
University. Joined Channel January 2020.

Pouya Jafari

Trade Finance Associate

Pouya joined Channel in 2019 to assist in the origination, structuring, and risk analysis of trade finance investment opportunities. Prior to joining Channel Pouya worked at Wells Fargo, before this he worked at AIG. Pouya is a member of the International Trade & Forfaiting Association’s Emerging Leaders and founded tradeXplain, an educational trade finance website. Pouya holds an MA in International Relations from The University of Edinburgh.

Lauren Woods

Operations & Transactions Manager

Lauren is dedicated to the day to day running of Channel’s trade receivables transactions, and supports the finance and operations functions. Prior to joining Channel in 2017, Lauren held operational roles at RBS and Baring Asset Management. Lauren holds a BSc in Economics, and has recently obtained the CFA’s Investment Management Certificate.

Kishan Patel

Operations and Transaction Analyst

Kishan is focused on Channel’s day to day transaction management. Kishan previously completed a placement at Coca-Cola. He recently graduated, holding a BSc in Financial Economics from University of Leicester.

Anna Rayner

Operations & Transactions Manager

Anna is focused on Channel’s day to day transaction management. She previously worked at ACPI Investment Mangers, and has held placements at Nomura and Lloyds. Anna holds a BSc in Business, Finance and Economics.

Martin Eriksson

Debt Products Associate

Before joining Channel in 2019, Martin graduated from BI Norwegian Business School with a BSc in Finance. After his time at BI Norwegian Business School, Martin worked in the Scandinavian corporate bond market for a small start-up firm. He later went on to undertake and graduate from the MSc in Finance and Management programme at Cranfield School of Management

Coming Soon

Rinal Patel

Finance Director

Rinal Patel is the Finance Director of Channel, responsible for financial planning, management of financial risks, budgeting, financial and tax reporting as well as facilitating audit and regulatory/fund reporting.  She reports to the COO.  Rinal is a Chartered Accountant with over 12 years experience in commerce and finance.  She holds a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Coming Soon

Mark Redinger

External Counsel

Mark Redinger is our External General Counsel dealing with corporate matters as well as financings in Canada for the firm. Mark is a partner with Dickinson Wright in the Banking and M&A groups focusing on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, structured finance, asset-based lending, derivatives and cross border international financings.  He has extensive experience in listings of firms securities in Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Mark advised the current senior management of Channel in its corporate and partnership matters for over 10-years and is a member of the Law Society of England & Wales.  Mark holds a BA Political Science and Comparative Politics from the University of Toronto, an LLB from Western Ontario, and an LLM from LSE (merit).

Coming Soon

Charles Colbourne

Senior Advisor

Charles co-founded Channel in 2006. He was responsible for overseeing the structuring and execution of transitions and identification of new financing opportunities and served on its executive, management and credit committees through 2018. He was formerly Manageing Director and joint head of the global Credit Products Group at TD Securities, a unit of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. Charles also served on the TD Securities Trading Risk Committee. Charles holds a B. Comm. from University Alberta in Canada.

Coming Soon

Ed Smith

Senior Advisor

Ed is responsible for developing Channel’s working capital business with UK-based clients. Ed is a Chartered Accountant with over 20years’ experience with JP Morgan and Rabobank in various roles including Global Head, Telecoms & Media and CEO, Rabo FARM. In more recent years, he has been advising PE firms and working with growth-led UK SME’s in various roles as investor, Advisory Board Chair and commercial business development.

Coming Soon

Dr Andrea Moro

Senior Advisor/Scientific Board

Dr Andrea Moro is a senior advisor and a member of our Scientific Board, focusing on SME and corporate risk measures.  He is a member of the faculty at Cranfield School of Management in the Finance & Accounting area.  Andrea has published over 20 journal and practitioner articles on SME/small business finance, entrepreneur and credit risk subjects in leading journals, including the Journal of Banking & Finance as well as The European Accounting Review.  Before pursuing his academic pursuits, Andrea worked for 15 years as a senior financial advisor to SMEs, including financial planning, financial budgeting and cashflow management. Andrea also advises other start-ups in the Blockchain and Tech sectors, as well as insurers on CSR issues.