Secretariat

Secretary General
Vinco David

Vinco David was appointed Secretary General in 2017. A Dutch national, he 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 Vinco served as a Management Team Member of Atradius Dutch State Business, the Export Credit Agency of the Netherlands. Prior to this he 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.

Associate Director
Laszlo Varnai
MLT Committee Support

Laszlo joined the Secretariat in June 2015, to advise it on legal matters and to support the Committees (primarily the ST Committee) and Specialist Meetings. Since April 2017, Laszlo has been supporting the MLT Committee.

He gained focused experience in policy analysis as he worked for EXIM Hungary for more than 5 years, leading the ECA’s international relations (OECD, EU and Berne Union) and ensuring compliance with WTO, OECD and EU regulations, as well as the international sanctions. 

Laszlo graduated in law from Peter Pazmany University, holds a DipHE in Law of England and Wales and the European Union from the University of Cambridge, and a diploma of economic diplomacy from the Károli Gáspár University in Hungary.

Associate Director
Johannes Schmidt
INV Committee Support

Johannes joined the Secretariat in April 2016. He is responsible for supporting the chair and vice chair of the INV Committee as well as its members (public, private and multilateral insurers) with regards to their membership. In his role Johannes is also supporting the INV Technical Panel, a subcommittee where technical underwriting issues are discussed amongst INV Committee members.

Before joining the Berne Union, Johannes was an underwriter in political risk insurance and untied loans for Berne Union member PWC, managing the German Government’s Investment Insurance and Untied Loan Guarantee Programmes.

Johannes holds a Masters Degree in International Business of Macquarie University Sydney and a Diploma degree in Economics at the University of Ulm.

Associate Director
Paul Heaney
Communications, Media & Outreach

Paul manages internal and external communications at the Secretariat, having joined in July 2016. His responsibilities include managing the production of the 'BUlletin' Newsletter and coordinating the Secretariat's involvement with the Berne Union's Outreach Task Force.

He has 7 years of experience working in communications, events and publications relating to the trade finance and export credit insurance industry. Prior to joining the BU, Paul worked as a Conference Producer for Informa, one of the world’s largest events and publications companies, listed on the FTSE 100.

Paul holds a BA in Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin and an MA (also in Philosophy) from King’s College London.

Short Term Committee Support Manager
Joakim Wallensteen
ST Committee Support

Joakim joined the Secretariat in 2017 at the ST Committee Support Manager. Prior to this, Joakim worked for EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Agency, and Berne Union member.

He has 17 years of experience in export credit financing, mainly within the telecom and power sectors, but has also experience of investment guarantees and reinsurance solutions.

Joakim holds a Master of Laws from Stockholm University and a M.sc in Business and Economics from Stockholm School of Economics.

Team Assistant
Nicole Cherry
Logistics and Business Administration

Nicole joined the Secretariat in July 2016. Nicole provides assistance to the Secretariat Team and manages the office. She has recently moved back to the UK after living in Tanzania for six years working with NGO’s and running a volunteer organisation. Most recently she worked as the personal assistant for the CEO of the largest company in East Africa, MeTL.