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Wed 19 Sep 2007 12:46 PM

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Distribution credit chief joins Euler

George Khalil takes on new role to promote credit insurance to channel.

The former credit services manager of Tech Data Middle East has stressed the importance of IT channel players investing in adequate credit insurance after joining the UAE operations of financial experts Euler Hermes.

George Khalil, who worked for the broadline distributor before the core of its assets were sold to Aptec Holdings, insists senior management figures at IT providers in the region must give their finance colleagues the backing they need when it comes to safeguarding the health of their business.

"Credit management is complex and demanding and credit managers should be permitted more and more say in what can be dispatched without the additional pressure from their respective sales management," he argued. "Given the diminishing margins, I would suggest that credit insurance is a tool that credit managers cannot do without. It allows them to sleep at night and it strengthens the balance sheet given that trade receivable is much more protected by credit insurance."

Khalil's new post as Head of Commercial for the Gulf at Euler Hermes will see him looking after existing policy holders and servicing their needs in terms of policy training, claims assistance, compliance requests and renewal advice. He is also responsible for identifying and promoting new commercial initiatives to boost the company's prospects in the UAE.

Khalil insists that credit insurance gives companies a stronger opportunity to expand their trade with existing customers, enter new markets and obtain better credit lines with banks. "My opinion is that IT distributors and resellers now have a much more realistic view on risk given past events, but it always helps to do your homework by continuing to review your process to make sure there are no cracks," counselled Khalil. "This is where Euler Hermes credit insurance is one of the major tools available to protect the trade receivable."

Euler Hermes, which claims to have a 36% market share of the global credit insurance market, opened its first Middle East office in Dubai four months ago in conjunction with local partner, Alliance Insurance. The arrival of the 5,500-strong company in the region means Gulf policy holders now have access to the same risk database as anywhere else in the world. "The Gulf countries have shown an impressive economic development in the last few years," said Clemens von Weichs, chairman of the Euler Hermes Group at the time of the Dubai office opening. "As a result, we are very pleased to now have a local team in place to satisfy the growing demand."

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