Walter (Buddy) Baker has over 30 years of experience in international trade finance. In May 2009 he joined Fifth Third Bank where he heads their Global Trade Solutions Delivery team. Fifth Third is one of the 20 largest banks in the US and provides a full range of risk mitigation and financing products for exporters and importers. Prior to Fifth Third, Buddy worked for Atradius Trade Credit Insurance, ABN AMRO Bank, Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, and The First National Bank of Chicago.
Buddy is a recognized expert in trade finance and author of numerous magazine articles and the books Users’ Handbook to Documentary Credits under UCP600, Documentary Payments & Short-Term Trade Finance, and The Regulatory Environment of Letters of Credit and Trade Finance. He owns the consulting firm Global Trade Risk Management Strategies, which specializes in educational training, and makes frequent presentations for national associations of exporters, importers, bankers and lawyers. Mr. Baker serves as a member-at-large of the National Letter of Credit Committee of the International Financial Services Association and is actively involved in establishing national and worldwide standard practices for LCs, such as the recent revision of the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (referred to as UCP600), the official ICC guide for examining letter of credit documents, called the International Standard Banking Practices for the Examination of Documents under Documentary Credits, the eUCP supplement to the UCP dealing with electronic documents, the International Standby Practices, and Article 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code. He acts as an advisor to the Institute for International Banking Law and Practice and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of International Credit and Trade Finance Professionals (ICTF), a multinational association of export credit managers.
Buddy earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University and his MBA at Northwestern.