Executive biographies

The Berne Union is led by the President, the Vice President and a Management Committee.

The President and the Vice President are elected for a term of two years.

The Management Committee consists of:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Committee Chairs
  • 13 member organisations

The two largest member organisations from the Short Term, Medium/Long Term and Investment Committees serve on the Management Committee. The remaining seven members are elected for a two-year term.

Management Committee 

  • President: Topi Vesteri (FINNVERA)
  • Vice President: Mandisi Nkuhlu (ECIC SA)
  • Short Term Committee Chair: Verena Utzinger (SERV)
  • Medium/Long Term Committee Chair: Beatriz Reguero (CESCE)
  • Investment Committee Chair: Christina Westholm-Schroder (SOVEREIGN)
  • Prague Club Committee Chair: Chris Chapman (NZECO)
  • Members: ATRADIUS, COFACE, EULER HERMES, BPI FRANCE, NEXI, SINOSURE, ECGC, ECIC SA, EXIMBANKA SR, SOVEREIGN, UKEF, SERV, HBOR

The collective experience of our executives guides the organisation to be relevant, forward thinking, fair and professional.

Topi Vesteri President

Topi Vesteri
President

President, 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 and chairs also the boards of Finnvera’s venture capital subsidiaries Veraventure Ltd, Seed Fund Vera Ltd and ERDF Start Fund Ltd. Topi also served as Board Member of Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (Finnfund), 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.

 

mandisi-nkuhlu

Mandisi Nkhulu
Vice-President

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.

 

Verena Utzinger
Chair of the ST Committee

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.

 

Beatriz Reguero
Chair of the MLT Committee

MLT Committee Chair, Beatriz Reguero
CESCE Spain | Chief Operating Officer

Beatriz Reguero joined CESCE, the Spanish Export Credit Agency (ECA) in 1999 as Deputy Director of the Country Risk and International Relations Department. In 2012, she became the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the State Account Business at CESCE. Between 1992 and 1999 she held different positions in the Spanish Public Administration, mainly within the Ministry of Economy, related to Trade responsibilities.

Within the Berne Union, she was appointed Chair of the Short Term Committee for the period 2010 – 2012.

Beatriz graduated in Economics from the University of Madrid in 1989.

 

christina-westholm-schroder-sovereign

Christina Westholm-Schroder
Chair of the INV Committee

INV Committee Chair, Christina Westholm-Schroder
Sovereign Risk Insurance Bermuda | Chief Underwriter

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.

 

Vinco David
Secretary General

Vinco David
Berne Union | Secretary General

Vinco David has been appointed Secretary General in 2017.

A Dutch national, Vinco has over 30 years’ experience in various aspects of credit and investment insurance, including more than 20 with leading international credit insurer Atradius, in diverse roles across strategy, product development, economic research, project finance, underwriting and claims management.

Most recently he served as a Management Team Member of Atradius Dutch State Business, the Export Credit Agency of the Netherlands.

Prior to this Vinco has held positions at the Berne Union Secretariat and the Netherlands Ministry of Finance. He holds an MA in political science and international relations and a BA in economics and Italian language and literature from the Free Reformed University of Amsterdam.