Management Team


Walter Gontarek

Chief Executive Officer

Walt co-founded Channel in 2006. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Channel and is a member of the Executive, Management and Credit Committees.

Walt was previously Managing Director and Global Head of Royal Bank of Canada’s credit products business.

He holds a doctorate in Finance from Cranfield University and a MBA in Finance from NYU Stern School of Business.

In 2012, Walt was named on the “Panel of Recognised International Market Experts in Finance” at PRIME Finance in The Hague, The Netherlands and in 2015 joined the supervisory board of FrontClear, an Amsterdam based development bank-backed platform.

Charles Colbourne

Chief Investment Officer

Charles co-founded Channel in 2006. He is responsible for overseeing the structuring and execution of transactions and identification of new financing opportunities. He is a member of Channel’s Executive, Management and Credit Committees.

He was formerly Managing Director and joint head of the global Credit Products Group that he helped establish at TD Securities. Charles also served on the TD Securities Trading Risk Committee.

Charles holds a B. Comm. from University of Alberta in Canada.

Deborah Hutchinson

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah joined Channel at the start of 2007 as a founding partner. She oversees the daily operation of the company. She chairs Channel’s Management Committee.

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 and is a Chartered Accountant.



Jack Caouette


Jack has been Chairman since the founding of Channel and is a member of the Executive Committee. He oversees corporate governance and liaises with stakeholders and shareholders.

Jack previously served as senior banker in the capital markets business at Citibank in Asia and the US. He founded CapMAC and served as CEO and Chairman.

He was named in March 2010 as non-executive Chairman of the Asset Protection Agency in the United Kingdom.

Jack holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Varda Shine

Vice Chairman

Varda provides detailed industry knowledge and advice to Channel on the diamond sector and is a member of Channel’s Diamond Committee.

She has over 30 years’ experience in the diamond industry, joining De Beers in 1984 and became CEO of the De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in 2006 until 2014.

Varda has completed business and management courses at Templeton College, Oxford, Cranfield and INSEAD.

Marcus Fedder

Marcus Fedder


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 and Deputy Treasurer, Treasurer at the EBRD, and also worked for the World Bank.

He presently is a Director of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation and NED at TCX.

Marcus holds a PhD from the Freie Universitat Berlin and graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.

Philip Sullivan

Philip Sullivan

Risk Advisor

Philip provides risk advisory services and related support on an ad hoc basis.

He previously worked for MBIA Inc in a variety of roles, most recently at MBIA UK Insurance Limited (“MBIA UK”), where he held a number of senior management, executive and board positions, including chairing the Risk Oversight Committee.

Philip holds an MBA from NYU and a BS from the University at Albany (NY).

Risk Management


Peter Bakker

Chief Risk Officer

Peter is acting CRO, responsible for reviewing all transactions prior to funding. He is a specialist in the review of corporate credit portfolios.

Prior to joining Channel in 2012, Peter managed high yield, distressed and special situations credit funds at Lazard Frères & Co, BlueBay Asset Management, SGS Asset Management and Talisman Capital.

He holds a MBA from Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth College and a MS Economics, Erasmus University.

Alok Kumar

Risk Management Officer

Alok is responsible for the evaluation of new and existing trade finance transactions from a credit risk perspective.

He previously served as Chief Manager in the large corporate division of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Alok holds a MBA from Cranfield University and a BSc in Physics & Mathematics from Delhi University.



Hilmar Hauer

Head of Securitisation

Hilmar is focussed on the structuring of transactions to offer investors lower risk investment opportunities, while providing clients with a financing framework that provides value to their businesses.

Prior to joining Channel in 2007, Hilmar was a Quantitative Analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort

Hilmar has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham.

Investment Management


Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Head of Asset Management

Paul is focussed on building alternative transaction structures to attract new investors and clients with bespoke financing requirements.

He was previously a Senior Portfolio Manager at BlueMountain, and also Managing Director and Global Head of Structured Credit Markets at Credit Agricole.

Paul holds masters degrees in Mathematical Physics and Financial Mathematics from the University of Edinburgh.

Ken Owen

Portfolio Management

Ken is primarily focussed on locating trade finance assets and transaction opportunities for Channel.

Prior to Channel, Ken was Portfolio Manager at HSH Nordbank, where he grew the trade finance loan book to over EUR 4 bn.

Ken served as Moderator for the International Trade Finance exam (Chartered Institute of Bankers), and has been a speaker at the United Nations on trade finance issues.

Operations and Transaction Management


Dan Luther

Head of Operations and Transaction Management

Dan manages the ongoing operations of all “live” transactions.

He joined Channel from Trafigura where he supported the company’s trade receivables financing programme, the bulk of his tenure being Global Corporate Funding Manager.

Dan holds a MSc in Economics from the University of London.

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.

Lauren Woods

Lauren Woods

Operations and Transaction 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.

Anna Rayner

Anna Rayner

Operations and Transaction Manager

Anna is focused on Channel’s day to day transaction management.

She previously worked at ACPI Investment Managers, and has held placements at Nomura and Lloyds.

Anna holds a BSc in Business, Finance and Economics.

Systems and IT


David Allcock

Head of Systems and IT

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.

Previously he was Head of Systems covering the Whistlejacket SIV at Standard Chartered Bank.

David holds an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering and a PhD in Gas Turbine Internal Aerodynamics from Cranfield University.

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 the maintenance, evaluation, and testing of business continuity plans.

Tom is a Certified Novell Engineer.