National Bank to Augment Northstar's Partnership Approach to Financing SME Exporters
Montreal, 11 February 2000 -
In the presence of Pierre Pettigrew, federal Minister for International Trade, National Bank of Canada today added its name to the roster of players on the Northstar Trade Finance Inc. team. Northstar has already won recognition as Canada's premier provider of financial solutions customized to meeting the competitive challenges new and growing firms face in today's tough global export marketplace. With the significant equity investment the National Bank is making in Northstar, Canadian exporters will now be able to provide foreign clients with access to $310 million in loan capital available to support individual sales from $100,000 up to $5 million.
"As the bank of choice for independent businesses in Quebec, we have chosen to join in the process of writing the Northstar story. That way, our customers can explore many new global options, while we as a bank can continue our transformation into the kind of diversified financial group best able to meet their needs," said André Bérard, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada. "I think today marks the beginning of a whole chapter for all of us, one that will be about more Quebec companies exporting more equipment and services to more countries than ever before."
"National Bank brings more to the Northstar table than merely an enhancement to our financing capabilities," said Scott Shepherd, the founder of Northstar and its Chief Executive Officer. "Financial services are first and foremost a people business, a relationship built over time between a client and a professional. Over the many years of its history, National Bank has built those kind of relationships throughout Quebec, with innumerable entrepreneurs. They can now look to exploring complex new markets with a guide they know they can place their trust in. And we at Northstar firmly believe that we can now play a bigger role than ever before in making the export visions of Quebecers a reality."
Northstar Trade Finance was formed in 1994 to support new and growing exporters by filling a market niche that was not being served by conventional sources of trade finance, but which is nonetheless critical to exporters' success in world markets.
Through offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Richmond, B.C., Northstar provides floor finance and fixed-rate medium-term loans to a Canadian company's foreign buyer. The loans are secured by a registered lien over the exported goods and are insured by the Export Development Corporation (EDC).
"Quebec's new and growing companies have won national recognition for their entrepreneurial talents, in domestic markets and abroad," said J.G.F. Pierre McCann, Northstar's Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Quebec Region. "With the National Bank joining the Northstar partnership, we will be able to translate that promise into star performances on the global stage."
In addition to National Bank of Canada, other Northstar shareholders are the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, HSBC Bank Canada and the Government of British Columbia. The Government of Ontario provided initial capital, and the Government of Canada provides support through the Export Development Corporation (EDC), the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
With assets of over $70 billion, a network of more than 650 branches and some 17,000 employees, National Bank of Canada is the sixth largest chartered bank in Canada and the largest bank in Quebec. The Bank, whose headquarters are in Montreal, has offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
J.G.F. Pierre McCann
Senior Vice-President and General Manager Quebec Region
Northstar Trade Finance Inc.
Tel.: (514) 874-3366
Senior Manager, Public Relations Dept.
National Bank of Canada
Tel.: (514) 394-6991