Karl Kluun

You’re a source of valuable information for your clients

For Karl, one of the best things about his job is surprising clients with extra knowledge or a creative solution. He advises clients who trade in commodities, which he describes as a global, “pretty abstract” business.

Karl completed a Wholesale Banking traineeship and then stayed on as an analyst in Loan Capital Markets. He has been working in the Trade & Commodity Finance team for a few years now. “Our team advises clients on how to finance deals that pose too great a risk for one bank alone. The clients are traders in commodities such as oil, grain, coffee or metals. To finance the trade, they need a lot of money – in other words, loans. We coordinate the entire loan process for them.”

Syndicate of banks

“Without exception, these trades involve amounts that are too large for ING to finance on our own, so we set up a syndicate: a group of banks that fund the loan together. If ING is the lead bank, we propose the price and structure of the loan and negotiate with the other banks. In that case, it’s also about things like ensuring sufficient protection and flexibility for all parties.”

Oil tanker

“These are often short-term loans; they are working capital. Imagine a company that needs a guarantee from a financial party in order to finance a tanker carrying oil. The oil has already been sold, so the banks get their money back quickly. So we often see the same customers coming back soon afterwards for another transaction.”

Customer contact

“For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is the close contact with customers. I don’t just talk to them about loans, but also about market developments that might be relevant to them, such as sustainable finance or a new benchmark for interest rates. You can really be a source of valuable information for them. I get a lot of job satisfaction from thinking about how I can best help a client and surprising them with a little extra knowledge or a creative solution.”

Daunting work

“This work can be quite daunting at first, especially when you’re still young and are just starting out, because it involves huge sums of money and ‘commodities trading’ is pretty abstract. But whenever I see containers at a port, inland barges or processing plants, I know that an ING loan might be involved and how it came about… and that’s really cool.”

About Karl

Karl did a bachelor’s degree in business administration, then spent a year working on the committee of a student association before doing a master’s degree in finance & investments at Erasmus University Rotterdam. While studying for his master’s, he also spent some time helping out at a start-up run by some of his friends. Besides looking after his young son, Karl likes to cook and does some DJing with a few friends. He also participates in a high-performance buddy programme for young ING employees and young dancers from the Dutch National Ballet.

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