Blades International, Inc., a trade finance and cross-border broker and financial advisory firm, today announced the addition of Grant Johnston as a Managing Director specializing in Foreign Exchange Rate Integrity® and John Welch as a Managing Director responsible for business development and international credit.
“The addition of both Grant Johnston and John Welch to Blades International is great news for our firm and our clients,” said Bob Blades, President, Blades International, Inc. “Both Grant and John bring deep industry knowledge to the Blades team and will bring that knowledge and expertise to bear on behalf of our clients. Their combined 80 years’ experience in finance--much of it globally focused across several industries--makes us extremely fortunate to have these two new additions to our team.”
Grant Johnston has more than 40 years of experience as a Finance executive in the manufacturing and energy industries, including as the project controller on several North Sea field developments, a Divisional Finance Director for the company that built some of the English Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) boring machines, a Finance Director and briefly the Operations Manager for one of the first wind farms in California.
For the past two decades Grant held a number of senior finance roles with the international energy services company John Wood Group PLC. Specifically, he led the finance effort in the sale of the Wood Group’s Well Support business to GE Oil and Gas for $2.7 Billion and managed Wood Group’s North American Treasury, Risk Management, and Corporate Finance areas.
A resident of Houston, Johnston earned a degree from Stirling University (Scotland) in Accounting and Economics and is a Scottish Chartered Accountant.
John Welch joins Blades International after 38 years in the financial services industry. His experience includes working for Citizens Bank as Managing Director in Corporate Banking, Citibank as Houston Market President, Wells Fargo as SVP in the Commercial Bank and JP Morgan Chase as SVP in the Foreign Multi-National Corporate Group. His responsibilities included raising capital, both in the bank and capital markets for his clients as well as providing innovative solutions using other bank products (Foreign Exchange, International Trade Services, Treasury & Balance Sheet Risk Management, Liquidity, etc.).
John has a strong international banking background gained through 27 years in the International / Foreign Multi-National Group at JP Morgan Chase. He has served on various European Chamber of Commerce Boards including being past President of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce and Swedish American Chamber. He also served as Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership European Business Forum as well as Chairman of the Houston Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council. Additionally, he was an Advisory Board member for Mays College of Business at Texas A&M University as well as past Board Member in the Commercial Banking Program.
John is an Aggie through and through, having graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Finance. He and his family reside in Cypress.
Founded by international banking veteran Bob Blades in 2009, Blades International, Inc. is a trade finance and cross-border broker and financial advisory firm in Houston, Tex. The firm specializes in advisory services for exporters and foreign-owned companies in matters of international banking, structured trade finance, foreign exchange and letters of credit. Blades International also provides support to the international departments of local banks.
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