Alexander Christodoulakis is an International Financier, and as CEO of PBS SA Capital Group is the lead investment executive who manages an international portfolio of companies. PBS SA Capital oversees a comprehensive global portfolio of company-group asset holdings in markets, ranging from transport, shipping, and energy to other industrial sectors.

Delivering calibrated financial solutions, the group encourages asset and solid enterprise growth. Alexander also fulfills merchant and investment banking functions and is experienced in stock market listings and secondary listings worldwide. Amongst the various financial business operations and activities of PBS SA Capital, its international business lending platform assists businesses to grow, expand and reposition themselves in the market.


The Origins of Merchant Banks

Merchant banking origins date back to middle ages in Italy and in France during the 17th and 18th centuries. Merchant banks evolved from the medieval traders who traded in commodities or used to finance the trades and transactions of other merchants. During the early 19th century in the United Kingdom and later in the United States, merchant banking houses of German and Jewish origins developed further their merchant banking functions leading to powerful new banking houses covering a wider range of financial activities.


Functions of Merchant Banks

Merchant banks can perform a number of different functions. They are well known for their international trade finance expertise but they also offer competitive domestic funding solutions to businesses that need access to growth capital. Merchant banks apart from trade financing, they offer international business loans to companies, credit syndication by coordinating various financial institutions, equity underwriting, private placements and portfolio management services for institutional and private investors.


Differences with Investment Banks

Merchant banks are mainly focusing to work with mid-scale enterprises that are not able yet to follow the road of an initial public offering. They are specialized in mezzanine financing, bridge financing through equity private placements and corporate credit products that support the company’s funding objectives. Concerning their primary international financing activities, these include issuing of letters of credit, international transferring of funds and transaction facilitation, foreign corporate and real estate investment and trade finance.


On the other hand, Investment banks deal mainly with initial public offerings (IPOs) and large public and private share offerings. By using the public markets, they raise debt and equity capital for corporations and governments. Investment banks are also specialized in carrying out transactions on mergers and acquisitions, corporate and management buyouts and capital restructurings. Very seldom, investment banks can offer trade financing but that is not included in their main functions.