View Vacancy – KL – Head of Export Finance, D6(L)

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Department for International Trade roles (DIT)


Main purpose of job:

The Department for International Trade (DIT) team in the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur has a vacancy for a Head of Export Finance for a fixed term contract for one (1) year, with a possible option to renew for a second year. The job holder will be responsible for leading engagement with local buyers, project sponsors, and associated stakeholder networks to develop export growth through the provision of trade finance and credit insurance available from UKEF. This includes identifying opportunities to develop the procurement of high value goods and services from the UK whilst developing understanding and creating impact around UKEF’s products and services.

You will play a key role in supporting the wider DIT Malaysian team achieve its objectives as articulated in the Regional Trade Plan, of which the over-arching ambitions are:

Objective 1 Driving and inspiring UK exports to Malaysia, significantly increasing the UK market share of Malaysian goods imports, and more than double the value of UK services exports.

Objective 2 Strengthened trade policy engagement with Malaysia to achieve incremental market access, mitigate business risk and prepare for future trade deals

Objective 3 – Broadening and deepening the UK-Malaysian investment partnership, positioning the UK as the top European destination for Malaysian investment and providing strong support for UK investors.


The Department for International Trade (DIT) operates in 108 countries. Establishing new relationships around the globe, DIT promotes British trade to ensure the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us, securing and improving economic well-being, stability, and helping to create tens of thousands of jobs.

About UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency (ECA) and operates in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer. In 2019/20, UKEF provided £4.4 billion worth of support for exports to 69 countries and over the past five years UKEF has provided £18.5 billion of support.

UKEF helps UK companies:

  • win export contracts by providing attractive financing terms to their buyers
  • fulfil contracts by supporting working capital loans and guaranteeing performance bonds
  • get paid by insuring against buyer default

Main Purpose of Role: 

The role will focus first and foremost in Malaysia. There you will build strategic relationships with Malaysian buyers and the local financing environment to market the suit of UKEF products and identify opportunities for UKEF support. You will also help UK exporters’ access the Malaysian market by building a strong pipeline of qualified projects for UKEF to execute.

You will also engage with Malaysian project finance banks and other local and international financiers to inform our picture of the opportunities and relationships we may need. This will include exploring the opportunity for blended financing structures with UK and other financiers. You will also explore how Malaysia is developing its trade with its partners through finance and its role as a regional finance hub.

You will work particularly closely with the DIT Malaysia Infrastructure and Defence & Security Leads, and our delivery partners the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce on Energy (amongst other sectors relevant for UKEF and the UK supply chain) to explore how we can better integrate the UKEF offer with the UK’s broader offer; supporting pipeline development, UK company account management and innovations particularly in project financing.

You will be expected to use your wider financial services background to inform the UK Government’s approach to trade with the Malaysian market, helping to explain the regulatory and financing environment and to consider the opportunities and barriers to be tackled in each sector, especially in the financial and professional services sector.

As a member of the DIT in-country team, you will also be required to mentor and inspire the DIT trade advisors to understand UKEF’s products, and to develop UKEF engagement seeking opportunities for export finance support in their sectors.

You will be part of the International Export Finance Network, with UKEF functional and task leadership from UKEF Originations and Client Coverage (OCC) team in London. That network leads engagement with local buyers, project sponsors and associated stakeholder networks to develop export growth through the provision of trade finance and credit insurance available from UK Export Finance. As a member of the International Export Finance Network, you will guide and support UK Export Finance teams in the UK, DIT colleagues and other third parties to provide this specialist market advice.

You will be Kuala Lumpur–based, sitting with the Department for International Trade’s Commercial Team. This includes the Country Director of Trade and Investment for Malaysia and other team members, such as the Infrastructure and Defence & Security Leads with whom you will work closely. The team works closely with the High Commissioner and other Government Department officials on the British High Commission platform, a number of whom support the trade relationship in their work. These include FCDO colleagues working on low carbon advocacy, as the UK prepares to host COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:

  • As UKEF’s sole representative in Malaysia, the jobholder will be responsible for developing strategic relationships and partnerships with businesses, government, and other key stakeholders in order to promote export growth in Malaysia to support UKEF and the Department for International Trade (DIT) in providing specialist market advice to potential exporters.
  • The jobholder will collaborate with the DIT management team and the UKEF management (London) to deliver the aims of the Origination and Client Coverage (OCC) team at UK Export Finance.   The jobholder will act as the eyes and ears of UKEF supporting the objectives of the OCC team to grow UKEF supported export wins by focussing on five (5) key areas of activity:

Build Awareness of UKEF support capabilities

  • Lead local campaigns to raise the profile of UKEF internationally through engagement with the business community, government bodies, and other stakeholder organisations.
  • Deliver UKEF marketing plans, ensuring that messages are appropriate to the audience.  Remove complexity and build understanding. Develop a localised message where possible.
  • Develop and implement PR activities that educate the business community on UKEF products.
  • Develop UKEF knowledge base within local DIT team.

Build and share market knowledge

  • Develop detailed knowledge and insight of public and private sector organisations, including their strategic business planning and development objectives. Implement findings into UKEF strategic plans.
  • Understand and interpret host government trade policy, priority sectors, and projects.
  • Ensure timely export intelligence and insight for OCC, enabling opportunities for UKEF.
  • Act as the lead source of UKEF advice to local DIT teams, including integration of UKEF objectives into high value campaigns (HVCs).
  • Take the lead in leveraging expertise, knowledge, and networks of local staff, business chambers, and other local channels in their capacity as multipliers.
  • Identify the competitive framework (Export Credit Agencies and Supply Chain), articulate the difference of the UKEF offer. Seek collaboration where appropriate.
  • Exploit local knowledge, experience, and networks to gather intelligence of local commercial banking sectorial focus and appetite for risk.

Establish and maintain stakeholder relationships – UKEF primary stakeholders are buyers, UK exporters, project sponsors, host government departments, etc. This role will be required to:

  • Identify key buyers and sponsors in the target markets.
  • Exploit knowledge and experience to build robust business networks and develop calling plans to enhance the profile of UKEF.
  • Oversee the development of mechanisms to record and coordinate business outreach activities.
  • Maintain and develop regular contacts with local senior sponsors, banks, public sector organisations, government bodies, and UK businesses to identify export opportunities that could benefit from UKEF support.

Create and deliver strategic plans

  • Support DIT Malaysia team in country strategic planning aligned to UKEF organisational objectives, supporting HVCs where “leading with finance” could be an important driver.
  • Work with DIT Malaysia sector leads to embed UKEF offer into HVC execution plans.

Progress business development opportunities

    • Lead the local coordination of UKEF local virtual and physical campaign activities.
    • Engage the UK Export Finance Manager (EFM) Network to ensure seamless coordination between the UK supply chain and local sponsor.
    • Lead UKEF local relationships with providers of trade finance and risk mitigation products (e.g., banks, credit insurers, brokers, and others) and to introduce customers/ sponsors who require their services.
    • Lead UKEF collaboration with the local DIT team to develop innovative export solutions for UK companies.
    • Coordinate and support visits from UKEF management.

    This list is not exhaustive; the International Export Finance Executive may be required to carry out additional duties according to business needs. Key competencies required for this role include:

    • Seeing the Big Picture – Having an in-depth understanding and knowledge of how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives and the wider public needs. Focusing your contribution on the activities which will meet the organisation’s goals and deliver the greatest value.
    • Achieving Commercial Outcomes – Having a commercial, financial and sustainable mind-set to ensure all activities and services are delivering added value. Identifying economic, market, and customer issues and using these to promote innovative business models, commercial partnerships and agreements to deliver greatest value; and ensuring tight commercial controls of finances, resources and contracts to meet strategic priorities.
    • Leading and Communicating – Leading from the front and communicating with clarity, conviction, and enthusiasm, and managing and engaging with people with honesty and integrity. Establishing a strong direction and a persuasive future vision; managing and engaging with people with honesty and integrity and upholding the reputation of the organisation.

    Resources managed (staff and expenditure)No direct management of staff, but successful candidate will be expected to work closely with, and lead virtual teams, across the DIT Network, in particular with the infrastructure and financial services teams.

    • This role would suit a self-starter who has experience of working in a financial services background and/ or in credit finance. Trade background in a similar or business development role and knowledge of Export Credit Agency instruments and experience of trade finance are essential.
    • Understanding of local capital markets and experience of navigating emerging/ growth markets with the ability to support complex financial service projects are also required for this role.
    • The jobholder should also be fluent in English, both written and spoken. Malaysian language skills are also required for this role.
    • Postgraduate degree and/or undergraduate degree and other professional qualification.
    • Financial services career experience.
    • Current and relevant commercial management skills, well versed in contracting and finance oversight.
    • Proven competence in leading strategy development and business planning.
    • Proven advisory and negotiation skills at senior levels –able to express ideas and messages clearly and concisely, both orally and in written communication.
    • Management experience of autonomous operations in a sector servicing exporters in financial and credit risk products; or in a relevant role in an exporting business.
    • The jobholder should also have good working knowledge of Microsoft Office programmes especially Outlook, Word, and Excel.

    • Detailed knowledge of the regulatory macroeconomic and political situation in Malaysia
    • Knowledge of Malaysia
    • Experience of project delivery in the Malaysian context
    • Client facing experience, for example with a professional services business. (managing businesses, understanding issues and pursuing strategies together)
    • Knowledge of UKEF’s credit risk policy and business environment.

    Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes, Managing a Quality Service

    30 October 2020

    D6 (L)

    Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal


    Asia Pacific


    Kuala Lumpur

    British High Commission



    14 December 2020

    This is a fixed one year contract, but there may be an option to renew for a second year.

    The British High Commission offers a competitive remuneration package, benefits, leave entitlement of 20 days per annum (calculated on pro rata basis) and works hard to provide L&D opportunities to staff. There are a wide range of options available for personal development including training courses, coaching and mentoring, job-shadowing, presentations and learning sets. Staff have access to a wide variety of online resources through the Diplomatic Academy and Civil Service Learning.  The jobholder will be required to take some specific training courses related to their role. All new staff undertake a workplace induction and there are a number of mandatory e-learning courses covering areas such as diversity, health and safety, and information management.

    Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

    There is plenty of opportunity to develop on the job, and to establish expertise on trade policy. Specific areas and activities include:

    • Courses and materials offered by the Learning and Development team
    • Attending external events and conferences hosted by academic institutions, business chambers, etc
    • Taking part in learning sets with Embassy colleagues

    DIT Induction and UKEF training will be available for successful candidate. Successful candidate will also be expected to spend time in the UK when current border restrictions and quarantine requirements are lifted, to engage with key contacts in UKEF and wider Whitehall.

    The British High Commission Malaysia supports and promotes flexible working.  The standard working hours for the BHC are 08:00 to 16:30. We are happy to offer a variety of flexible working patterns, including non-standard working hours, working remotely or working compressed hours. The position will involve significant amount of domestic and some regional travel. Given the nature of the role, the jobholder will also be required to work some irregular hours attending business receptions and other networking events outside of office hours.

    Employment offers are subject to successful clearance of pre-employment and security checks. Staff who are locally recruited by the British High Commission are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law.

    No accommodation or relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position. Non-Malaysian nationals must either hold, or be able to secure, a work permit.

    Please note that your application must be submitted before 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

    Incomplete application forms will not be taken into consideration, so please ensure you provide the information requested. We regret to advise that we will only be contacting short-listed candidates. Applicants called for an interview will be assessed on the core competencies listed above.

    Indicated start date is provisional and subject to successful completion of reference and security checks.

    Kindly check your application centre or email regularly for any update on the status of your application.

    Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

    To help us with our recruitment effort, please indicate on the application form /cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.

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