Elected Officials

Topi Vesteri
FINNVERA Finland | Deputy CEO, Group Chief Credit Officer

Topi Vesteri joined Finnvera in 1998 as Executive Vice President responsible for running Finland’s officially supported export credit and guarantee system. Having managed Finland’s state backed ECA business for almost 17 years, Topi assumed the position of Deputy CEO and Group Chief Credit Officer responsible for credit and analysis functions of both Export Credit Agency (ECA) as well as domestic SME financing business of Finnvera, in October 2015.

Topi is Chairman of the Board of Finnish Export Credit Ltd, the subsidiary of Finnvera responsible for providing funded export credit solutions as well as Finnvera’s venture capital subsidiaries Veraventure Ltd and Seed Fund Vera Ltd. Topi also served as Board Member of Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd), Finland’s official development finance agency and as a board member of Finnish Credit Insurance Ltd.

Before joining Finnvera, Topi had a 17-year banking career in Postipankki, one of Finland’s leading commercial banks. During this period he held various managerial positions in Helsinki, Tokyo and London covering debt capital markets, corporate banking, leasing, international network and lending as well as general management of the bank’s overseas and domestic subsidiaries and business units.

Within the Berne Union, Topi was appointed President in 2015, was Chairman of the Medium and Long Term (MLT) Committee in 2009 – 2011 as well as Vice President of the Union in 2003 – 2004.

Topi holds a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M.) from the University of Helsinki.

Vice president
Mandisi Nkuhlu
ECIC South Africa | Chief Operating Officer

Mandisi Nkuhlu holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited (“ECIC”).

ECIC is the official Export Credit Agency of South Africa and provides political and commercial risk insurance to facilitate export trade and investments outside South Africa.

Mandisi has worked for various financial institutions involved in the financing of infrastructure development. He spent five years at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (“DBSA”) as the legal advisor to the Project Finance team responsible for cross-border private sector projects. During his stay at DBSA, he was seconded to Masons in London, a law firm specializing in Public Private Partnerships.

Later on, Mandisi worked for the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (“IDC”) in the International Finance Department dealing with export finance transactions. Prior to re-joining ECIC in February 2011, he was a Director of Export Finance at Standard Bank of South Africa.

Mandisi has worked on numerous infrastructure and mining projects. He cut his teeth in the Mozal I and Mozal II projects and worked on the Nelspruit Water PPP Concession, the first bank financed water PPP Concession in South Africa.

Mandisi holds a B Iuris and the LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape. He is an admitted attorney. He furthered his studies at Wits Business School – Management Advancement Programme, Senior Executive Programme and at the UCT Graduate School of Business – Executive Leadership Programme.

ST Committee Chair
Verena Utzinger
SERV Switzerland | Senior Relationship Manager

Verena Utzinger has been working for Swiss Export Risk Insurance ‘SERV’ since Spring 2000. Initially she joined the underwriting department, with responsibility for key accounts, financial and various other institutions in French-speaking Switzerland, as well as Ticino and a part of German-speaking Switzerland.

Verena is now responsible for relationships with financial institutions, new customers and bilateral chambers of commerce, as well as coordinating collaboration with the private insurance market within the framework of reinsurance agreements.

Verena is a Member of the Board of SABC Swiss African Business Council in Switzerland.

As the Head of the Swiss Delegation at the Berne Union, she represents SERV at various Berne Union meetings and also appears regularly as a speaker at other external events.

MLT Committee Chair
Hendrik Holdefleiss
EULER HERMES Germany | Head of Division Underwriting & Risk Management

Dr. Hendrik Holdefleiss studied economics at the Universities of Regensburg, Barcelona, Muenster and holds a PhD in international economics of the University of Kaiserslautern. He started his career at Deutsche Bank AG and joined Euler Hermes in 1999. In the State Export Credit Guarantee Division Hendrik Holdefleiss headed the Economic Research Department carrying out analysis of trade policy and country risk. He has been in charge of international relations and cooperation in international institutions (EU, OECD) for several years. Later he was in charge of Public Relations of the Export Credit Guarantees at Euler Hermes. Since 2011, as Head of Underwriting and Risk Management, he is responsible for the global business of the German ECA. 

INV Committee Chair
Christina Westholm-Schroder
SOVEREIGN RISK INSURANCE Bermuda | Chief Underwriter & SVP

Christina is responsible for all aspects of Sovereign’s transactional underwriting, with particular focus on capital markets and financial institution business. Christina is also relationship manager for a number of Sovereign’s ECA and Multilateral Agency clients. Christina has worked in the political risk field for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Sovereign, she was with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) for 11 years. She joined MIGA as one of its first employees in 1988 and worked in several capacities, including regional manager for Asia and Latin America and most recently as manager for syndications and business development. In this capacity, she was also responsible for the Agency’s re- and coinsurance activities. Prior to MIGA, Christina worked as a political risk insurance broker in the Bank of America’s global trade finance department in New York and as manager in the political risk department at AB Max Matthiessen in Stockholm, Sweden. Christina has an MBA in international business from Stockholm School of Economics and Business Administration and an MBA in finance from New York University.

PC Committee Chair
Danilo Ćirković
AOFI Serbia | Executive Board Member and Executive Director for Insurance

Danilo joined Serbian Export Credit Agency (AOFI) in January 2006, just a few months after it was founded. From the beginning Danilo has been engaged in establishing and developing the credit insurance business of the company. During his career in AOFI (2006-present), Danilo has worked in risk and policy underwriting as well as reinsurance. Since November 2013, Danilo has been appointed to the position of Executive Board Member and Executive Director for Insurance.

His previous work experience has been with the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, where Danilo worked as an Adviser (2005), and with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague, Netherlands (2001-2004), where he worked as the case manager for defense in three court cases.

An economist by university education, Danilo also holds a Masters degree in Management from the Faculty for Finance, Economics and Administration in Belgrade, Serbia.

ST Committee Vice Chair
Chunyi Xiao
SINOSURE China | Deputy General Manager of Export Trade Credit Underwriting Department

Ms. Xiao Chunyi, Deputy GM of ST Export Trade Credit Underwring Dept, in charge of large credit approval. She has been working in Sinosure since its establishment in 2001. 

MLT Committee Vice Chair
Pedro Pessoa Carriço
ABGF Brazil | Executive Manager - International Credit Assessment & International Relations

Pedro Carriço is Executive Manager of Credit & Market Analysis at the Brazilian Guarantees Agency (ABGF), where he is responsible for risk assessment of counterparties in export-related insurance as well as domestic guarantees. He has been with ABGF since 2014 when the Agency took on the role of export credit agency on behalf of the Brazilian Government. His experience within the Brazilian officially-supported export credit insurance scheme goes back to 2009 when he started working in the country risk department at SBCE. Prior to that, Pedro spent eight years in various positions at Banco Pactual, a Brazilian investment bank. He holds a Masters' degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

INV Committee Vice Chair
Nuria Gorog
ZURICH Switzerland | Senior VP - Head of Credit & Political Risk, Continental Europe

Nuria Gorog joined Zurich in January 2007 as Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Continental Europe – Credit & Political Risk. Prior to joining Zurich, she served seven years as Chief Underwriting Manager in Continental Europe for Unistrat Coface (Coface Group). Previously, she was Business Development Manager -Credit & Political Risk- in the in house insurance broker of Natixis (Cauri). Ms. Gorog holds a Master's Degree in Law from the Universidad Autonóma of Madrid, a Postgraduate Degree ("DEA") in International Prospective from the University of Paris V and a specialisation in International Trade from the "Ecole Européenne des Affaires"/EAP in Paris. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English. She is a former Chairman of the Single Risk Committee of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) 2014-2015 and an active participant in the Bern Union. 

PC Committee Vice Chair
Yerdan Bekkhozhin
KAZAKHEXPORT Kazakhstan | Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Yerdan Bekkhozhin joined KazakhExport as a Deputy Chairman of the Board in October 2014. He is responsible for underwriting, risk management, legal aspects and international relations. Before joining KazakhExport, Yerdan spent more than 6 years in banking sector working for local and international banks in Kazakhstan and in JP Morgan Chase in Australia. He started his career as a consultant in the investment systems area. Yerdan holds a Bachelor of Banking and Finance and a Bachelor of Computing from Monash University Melbourne, Australia