Introducing Cassona International

Cassona was founded in 2013 to provide international trade and export finance consultancy. In 2020, I modified the mission of our company because of events in my own life that highlighted the need for access to quality healthcare in the African continent, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa. My mother passed away back home from cancer partly because of lack of access to operable diagnostic and imaging equipment.

I have found that while there are very competent and well-trained caregivers in Africa, they lack medical equipment and tools required to provide medical services. Accordingly, we set out to tackle the most pressing issues in that regard; 1) affordability of medical equipment, 2) access to credit facilities to acquire the equipment, and 3) removal of impediments to continued operability of medical equipment, such as power supply and local skilled technicians that could repair and maintain equipment manufactured by GE, Siemens, Phillips and similar manufacturers.

We solved the problem of affordability by “partnering” with a medical equipment refurbishing company here in the US, Radiology Oncology Systems. Together, we purchase preowned medical equipment from US hospitals, refurbish them to the highest standard and have them recertified as almost new. Refurbished and recertified medical equipment costs much less than new equipment. In some cases, the cost represents less than 30% of the original cost.

The second issue we have addressed regarding medical equipment is access to credit facilities for African buyers. We have “partnered” with the US Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank) and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide credit facilities to qualified buyers. Our role in this respect is to help African buyers qualify for short-term, medium and long-term financing for their purchases, depending on their qualification. There are requirements that must be satisfied in order to get financing, but we work closely with our buyers to make them credit worthy.

Third, we have now partnered with local technicians that can provide local repairs at much less expense than used to be the case when European or American technicians were flown in whenever the machines broke down. This has been a big money drain for Sub-Sahara Africans because foreign technicians are extremely expensive and dramatically increase the cost of providing healthcare in Africa. In addition, we couple each sale of a medical equipment with a sale of a power generator that can automatically take over when local electricity supply fails.

Our goal is to be the supplier of choice for buyers who are unable to afford high-end million-dollar equipment sold by the GEs, Siemens and Philips of the world. We want to “partner” with local vendors, hospitals and caregivers that share my desire to change the nature and quality of healthcare service delivery back home.

Leadership Team

John Chigbu  


John Chigbu started to help developing countries to get finance on infrastructure projects since his days at Chevron as a tax counsel in 1994. He has successfully helped countless governments and private sector clients in developing countries to be seek and be approved for low interest rate financing from the U.S. Export and Import bank for the past 20 years.

David Josephson

Board Advisor

David Josephson has practiced international trade and finance for more than three decades. He headed banking offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, and Brazil, while providing merchant banking and international commercial banking services to clients in private enterprise, global banking, and foreign governments. He acted as a Manufacturer’s Representative of copper foundries in Brazil, Chile, and Austria and successfully imported more than 8,000 tons of their products which were sold to wire drawing and pipe extrusion plants in the USA. Currently he serves as a senior export finance banker in a trade bank in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and a veteran of the United States Navy.

Rob Guthrie

Board of Director

Rob Guthrie comes from the public sector, working for Export-Import Bank of the U.S. from 1998 to 2018, most recently as the Regional Director in the San Francisco branch office. From 2008 to 2014, he served on a five-person team focused on promoting clean tech exports of all kinds. Mr. Guthrie spent extensive time advising hundreds of project developers in the U.S. and Mexico on the parameters and requirements of project and structured finance. This included discussions with people at bilateral and multilateral finance organizations, and with U.S. and Mexican government officials.

Our commitment - Cassona

Our Commitment

We will provide you with a preliminary determination of funding for your purchase 10 business days after you engage our services.

We do all the work of:

> Vetting the foreign buyer for legitimacy
> Finding a U.S. seller of the product
> Negotiating terms
> Procuring the product
> Applying for funding
> Arranging shipment and other export documentation

Who can be represented?

> Private Enterprises
> Foreign Governments or Agencies
> Public Corporations
> NGOs
> Foreign Nationals

Generally, those who are interested in buying goods and services from the U.S. and are either unable to obtain commercial bank funding or consider commercial banking interest rates too exorbitant to ensure a profitable trade.

Foreign Principal (Buyer) Representation

|> CASSONA is a multinational company based in the US;

|> CASSONA provides advisory services, consultancy, and procurement and assists qualified foreign buyers to obtain export financing from export credit agencies (ECA) in the United States.

|> Our goal is to facilitate trade between foreign buyers and the U.S. In order to do so, the foreign Principal must be prepared to buy US goods and/or service.