Our people

At Czarnikow we employ 188 people located in 12 offices around the world. In this section we provide you with an insight into what it is like to work at Czarnikow.

Nicholas Wainwright

Regional Director, Czarnikow Singapore

“It is hard to overstate the value of working for a company that is more than reasonable about important issues outside the office.”

I joined Czarnikow in 2000 in London and worked on the Australia desk, liaising with the monopoly exporter from Queensland and communicating daily with the network of Czarnikow offices responsible for the marketing of Australian raw sugar.

I am currently responsible for managing our business in the Asia Pacific region, and our employees in the Singapore and China offices. The role necessitated a move from London to Singapore, which has proved a challenging and rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. My job involves a considerable amount of travelling, which is an important and enjoyable part of the role for many of us in Czarnikow’s Asian offices, and which rarely fails to present new opportunities for the company.

We have an eclectic mix of nationalities and characters in the offices in Asia, and operate with a collective approach to business and with a culture of mutual respect. Another cultural strength is Czarnikow’s regard for the individual and the recognition of the importance of family. All stops were pulled out when I had a family issue, and it is hard to overstate the value of working for a company that is more than reasonable about important issues outside the office.

One of our values is Developing people and teams and, for our teams in particular, this means supporting each employee consistently, making sure that people feel that the day's work is a step in the right direction, both in terms of where their career is heading and also how it fits into Czarnikow’s vision and strategy. Individual achievements need to be recognised and prioritised, but more important than anything is the team ethic. The maxim that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is particularly applicable to the teams at Czarnikow in Asia.

Daniel do Valle

Corporate Finance Manager, Czarnikow Brazil

“Working at Czarnikow allows you to discuss and develop strategies with owners and senior executives in order to add value to their businesses.”

Czarnikow gives people the opportunity to develop a career in a cooperative environment with global exposure to different markets and cultures, and my experience bears this out. I joined Czarnikow’s physical trading team in Rio de Janeiro in 2004, was posted in 2005 to Czarnikow's Trade Analysis team in London and moved in 2006 to the Sao Paulo office to develop M&A deals and debt raise processes. Today my time is split between working in Brazil and fronting the development of the Corporate Finance division in Asia, from Czarnikow’s Singapore office.

Amongst other things, I originate and execute Corporate Finance transactions in the sugar and bioenergy space, including M&A work. Our clients include cane growers, manufacturers and companies specialising in biomass energy cogeneration, logistics and advanced technologies. A deep knowledge of all activities relating to sugar supply-chain economics is required and our Corporate Finance team has gained this by leading the valuation of over 70 projects in the sector. Working at Czarnikow allows you to discuss and develop strategies with owners and senior executives in order to add value to their businesses.

As a service provider, Czarnikow’s ability to build strong business relationships is vital to it achieving its long-term business objectives. Maintaining a strong network with clients and other employees across different parts of the Group enables us to turn these relationships into business opportunities. Our aim of exceeding client’s expectations is also a key factor for the maintenance of long-term relationships.

At Czarnikow I am surrounded by dynamic, eager and interesting people in a company with a 150-year heritage. We have a deep-rooted knowledge of our sector, excellent analytical and commercial skills and a client-centric culture with many tools available for personal and career development.

Ben French

Assistant Freight Manager, Trading Desk, London

“One of the best things about working at Czarnikow is the opportunity to work in a team that is open and responsive to opinions and suggestions.”

I joined Czarnikow as Assistant Freight Manager in October 2011. Our team is responsible for managing Czarnikow’s global movements of sugar, ethanol and molasses. This includes careful monitoring and analysis of the Shipping market to generate an efficient and commercially sustainable shipping programme.

Our physical market trading actions influence a chain of tangible events around the world, which I find fascinating. We work as a team to form strategies around these events to ensure the final delivery of the commodity. The most memorable day in my career to date was negotiating my first single-handed deal for a shipment from Brazil to Nigeria, eventually settled at 2.00am after intense negotiations with the New York ship-owner through a broker in Sydney. The result of the deal led to the delivery of my first shipment of sugar.

One of the best things about working at Czarnikow is the opportunity to work in a team that is open and responsive to opinions and suggestions. There is always an opportunity for dialogue around the trading strategies and the generation of new ideas. There is a strong community at Czarnikow and sitting on the same desk as some of the most experienced traders in the market provides a great opportunity for personal development. I also love working with an incredibly diverse assortment of people around the world, both internally and externally.

My tip for any new joiners is to be prepared to take on significant responsibility early on in your career and make important decisions in a fast paced environment. Each role within the company is crucial to the success of the business which means you really have to be on the ball all the time. 


Debra Proenza

Office Manager, Czarnikow, Miami

“It is truly gratifying to work with a dynamic, passionate and committed group.”

I joined Czarnikow as Office Manager in November 2012 and since then I have been working to apply my knowledge and past experiences in my new role.  Little did I know this was to be my first encounter with one of four values defining Czarnikow’s culture; “Building Strong Business Relationships with our Clients, Suppliers and Colleagues”.    

As part of the team, I’ve been privileged to contribute in the organizational development and operational efficiency of the Miami office along with a management team that encourages creativity and challenges in order to improve business practices.

The Czarnikow family is committed to “Helping people reach their full potential” by building and supporting strong teams in a diverse environment as well as in a responsible and professional manner with the upmost integrity. It is truly gratifying to work with a dynamic, passionate and committed group.

Jayshree Barnes

Global Trade Finance Manager, London

“Anybody wanting to work for Czarnikow should be ready for a challenge. This will entail hard work and dedication but will bring with it both satisfaction and rewards.”

I joined Czarnikow in November 2004 as a Trade Finance Administrator when the department had just two members. I now manage the Trade Finance Department which comprises eight people. The principal function of my department is to ensure that funding is available for trades negotiated by Czarnikow Traders. These trades invariably involve millions of US Dollars and, in order to achieve the required financing at the right time, my department works closely with commercial banks to negotiate funding at the best possible terms.

On a day-to-day basis I really enjoy the challenge of negotiating financial transactions and the inevitable problem-solving that operating in difficult market conditions entails. One particular negotiation which sticks in my mind is the day we signed a US Dollar 100 million bank facility with a global bank.

I consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to build and develop a strong and supportive team ethic within my department, and I’m proud to lead a talented, hardworking and enthusiastic team for whom no challenge is too great. This has been made possible by the strong corporate culture and values which pervade all aspects of our business dealings, from the manner in which we treat our colleagues to the manner in which Czarnikow operates within the global environment. One of our key values is Acting responsibly and with integrity and, in my experience, Czarnikow has this value at its very core.

Anyone wanting to work for Czarnikow should be ready for a challenge. This will entail hard work and dedication but will bring with it both satisfaction and rewards.