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Structured Trade and Commodity Finance.

Connecting Capital with Global Trade

We finance transactions not Companies. We are not a lender in a traditional manner and we do not provide loans to companies. All funding that we provide is repaid upon completion of the transaction and our exposure ends at that point.


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John MacNamara

Chairman & Chief Risk Officer

John steadfastly assumed executive and senior management positions in the commodity trading and financing industries since 1982. In the course of the last 20 years, he has built Deutsche Bank’s worldwide Structured Commodity Trade Finance franchise, leaving his position of Global Head and Vice Chairman in at the end of 2019. Prior to joining Deutsche, John headed Structured Trade and Commodity Finance at Santander Central Hispano, Bayerische Hypo and others. Based in London, he is involved in a number of industry-wide initiatives, amongst others as the Chairman of the London Trade Roundtable that provides thought leadership in international trade finance, the advisory board of Global Trade Review and Trade & Forfaiting Review that he regulary contributes to. John’s publications include the Elsevier-published “Structured Trade & Commodity Finance: What Can Go Wrong” - an in-depth guide to structured trade and commodity finance in emerging markets. A Royal Marine and a graduate of Cambridge University, Mr. MacNamara serves as the Chairman of the Board, overseeing Sythesis’ risk and control frameworks, risk appetite and has decides upon all investment opportunities entering the securitisation programme.

David Faktor

Deputy Chairman of the Board

David has been at the forefront of commodity trading since 1981. Having joined the predecessor of Stemcor Group (Coutinho Caro UK) as a Graduate Trainee, he spent over 30 years with the company to become Group Managing Director and Head of Trading as of 2000. He was one of the key drivers for the growth of Stemcor from a small finished steel European export house to the world’s largest independent steel trader with a yearly turnover of US$10 billion and approx. 20 million tonnes of steel traded. David processes in-depth knowledge of trading steel products, metallurgical coal, coke and iron ore. This commercial acumen is supplemented by fluency in trade finance, structured trade finance, off-take agreements, arrangements for capital expansion by trading counterparts and shipping and logistics. Having left Stemcor in 2013, David focused on personal and charitable causes. His business ventures were limited to Veradamas Plc, a company he created to provide consultancy and advisory services in the metals and mining industry. Veradamas has helped commercialise several projects, advising on finance and debt restructuring, commercial exploitation, personnel and systems/procedures. David is Synthesis’ Deputy Chairman, working alongside the CEO on business development and general management tasks. He holds a University of Manchester BA Hons in Economics, Accounting and Business Finance.

Sergei Mikhalev

Chief Executive Officer

Sergei benefits from over 20 years of frontline experience in Trade and Commodity Finance, gained with the leading banks in the sphere. Having started with Chase Manhattan in Geneva, he moved on to Credit Suisse and later, BNP Paribas working across various desks covering EMEA and CIS corporates. Prior to joining Synthesis, Sergei was posted in the Netherlands working on restructuring the business model of Amsterdam Trade Bank, transforming it into a recognisable lender in the trade value chain. Initially responsible for the main revenue driver, the Trade & Commodity Finance team, he then assumed responsibility for the entire commercial set up that encompassed TCF, Asset Based Finance, Financial Institutions and ancillary functions in the first line. Sergei holds a MSc in Finance and Economics from Geneva University and in parallel to his CEO duties at takes active part in origination and structuring of Synthesis’ loan portfolio. He also acts as non-executive board member with a number of trading companies.

Spyros Papadopoulos

Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

Spyros has 22 years of experience in alternative investments. He began his career in Private Banking, first with Citigroup in London and Geneva and then with Société Générale in Athens. Spyros moved on from Private Banking in 2006 to set up an asset management company for Deloitte, before returning to London as a Director of the hedge fund Absolute Return Partners. In 2012, he launched the first Peer-to-Peer Lending Fund outside of the US, investing in consumer lending products. Since July 2014, his focus was on the then nascent asset class of packaged structured trade & commodity finance credit. In 2016 Spyros spearheaded the first structured commodity trade finance securitisation by a non-banking institution under the Synthesis name and has continued with the development of the business since. Spyros holds an Investment Management Certificate of the CFA-Society of the UK and is at the helm of Synthesis’ investor relationships as Group’s CSO.

Harris Antoniou

Managing Partner, Member of the Board

Harris held various executive and management positions in the financial sector over the last 25 years. He served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Amsterdam Trade Bank from March 2016 to February 2020. Previously he was the Chief Executive Officer of AMCI – a private group that focusses in mining projects and operations, trading, transportation, and private equity investments. Between 2009 and 2013 he was the Managing Director of Energy, Commodities and Transportation, and a member of the Management Group of ABN AMRO. Harris started his career with Bank Mees & Hope in 1993, and held a range of senior management positions in The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Greece. Harris is currently Partner and Member of the Board of Advent Technologies Inc., a leading producer of fuel cells and core materials, components and processes. He assumes a non-executive directorship at Synthesis focusing on the ongoing transformation and the future of the commodity sphere. Harris holds an MSc in Business Administration and Management from the University of Piraeus, an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) and is an alumni of the General Management Program, Harvard Business School. He is passionate about technology, education and digital transformation. He was one of the first signatories of the Poseidon Principles, a supporter of United World Colleges in the Netherlands, and member of Abundance 360.

Matthew Edwards

Investor Relations

Matthew has over 27 years’ experience in financial services. He began his career with Tullet and Tokyo in the city of London in 1990 where he quickly established himself as a leading broker. Matthew worked for two other leading brokerage houses in London before moving to Athens in 1997. He was head of all foreign exchange activities for Sigma money brokers who under his guidance became the global benchmark for GRD brokerage. He has since acted as a business development consultant for ICAP London, BGC Partners and Cleaves Securities. Throughout his career Matthew has developed and managed key client relationships and maintains strong relationships with banks, brokerages and private equity firms.

Mario Buteneers


Mario has over 30 years of experience in various executive and management positions in the financial trading and investment management business. After working for several renowned Dutch and International banks and trading houses, in 2008 he founded his own private equity company with a particular focus on strategic Internet and Technology investments. Additionally he also founded an alternative investment management company specialized in algorithmic trading in financial markets like the Currency and Commodity markets. Mario has close ties and is member of the supervisory board of several companies and family investment offices.

Jose Antonio Fernandez


He has over 14 years’ experience in M&A, focus on Financial Institutions Group, (FIG), having participated in several transactions, among others advising the FROB on the privatization of Catalunya Banc with an innovative structure (bought by BBVA for €1.1 bn and by Blackstone for €3.6 bn), Bankia on the equity sale of Bancofar, and BMN in the merger with Bankia. Recently, in 2018, he co-founded Zero1, a Fintech Company, which use the Machine Learning technology in order to disrupt the Supply Chain Finance industry, solving finance gap in trade finance. Previously, José Antonio worked in Alantra Investment Bank, Deloitte’s Financial Institutions Area & Banco Espirito Santo Investment Bank.

Michael Bray

Legal Counsel

Michael has over 40 years of experience as a banking lawyer in London. During this period of time he has provided assistance to many of the world’s leading financial institutions, and has been mentioned regularly in legal directories as one of the world’s leading banking lawyers. He has contributed to developing many banking and financial products and possesses significant experience in all areas of bank transactions and capital markets, including leverage finance, project finance, structured finance, commodity and trade finance and insolvency and restructuring procedures. Michael has regularly provided assistance to clients at Board level and, in the 2008 financial crisis, he acted as a high-level strategic legal advisor to financial institutions on issues ranging from major litigation disputes to financial regulatory reforms, and to the implications of the Eurozone crisis. From 1976 to 2015, Michael was a banking partner at Clifford Chance, where he also held a number of senior management roles. From 1995 to1999, Michael was Chair of the Global Finance and Capital Markets Practice of Clifford Chance and from 1999 to 2002, Michael was the Firm’s Global Managing Partner. After retiring from Clifford Chance in 2015, Michael became, and remains, a partner in, and member of the executive committee of, Grimaldi Studio Legale, a firm which he co-founded as a part of Clifford Chance when Clifford Chance first established a presence in Italy. Michael holds a first class honours degree in law from Liverpool University.

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