Eugene Amusin - Chairman - July 2016
Eugene Amusin is a Senior Vice President in Citi Inclusive Finance and engages with microfinance institutions, social enterprises, non-profits, multinational companies and investors to structure global banking solutions with a particular focus on enabling low-income communities to access essential products and services. Currently based in London, Eugene has held a number of product management and technology positions with Citi in London and New York.
Dr Phyllis SantaMaria
Phyllis' involvement with international development started as a US Peace Core Volunteer in Guatemala where she created "microfinance with threads" in the form of the first Mayam women's weaving groups still functioning decades later.
After careers in education and interactive multi media at the BBC, the EU and corporates, she has been Chief of Mission for PLANet Finance UK, an NGO for capacity building of microfinance institutions and consultant for designing MF capacity building programmes in India, Nepal, China, Ghana and eastern Europe. Co-ordinator for the UK National Committee for 2005 UN Year of Microcredit, for which the UK was one of 13 countries out of 101 to win UN and CGAP awards of excellence.
She is a Founder Director of the Financial Inclusion Forum and is a Director of Learning Without Borders, which offers leadership and innovation programmes for the Alternative Finance and other sectors. She is the author of 'Microfinance 3.0' in 'Microfinance, a Practitioner's Handbook' and a range of interactive multimedia programmes at the BBC, EU Lingua Project and the Open University of Germany.
Maude Massu is an international development and inclusive finance specialist. Among others, she is currently advising IDO - an NGO that supports rural communities in Congo and Chad build sustainable drinking water access - on the development of their financial inclusion strategy.
From 2009 to 2015, she has worked for CARE International UK as a Senior Microfinance Advisor leading the financial inclusion strategy implementation, providing technical support and supervising the monitoring and evaluation of various VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Associations) projects. Previously she worked for the French NGO CIDR (International Centre for Development and Research), where she was in charge of East and West African portfolios, working with local MFIs to develop innovating savings-led approaches for smallholder farmers.
Early in her career, Maude worked with NGOs in Peru and Madagascar to implement inclusive financial inclusion programs.
Mark Ouborg - Treasurer
Appointed Treasurer of the Financial Inclusion Forum. Mark works as a Compliance Officer within the Corporate and Institutional Banking division of BNP Paribas, with a focus on Financial Crime Prevention. He also serves as a member of the UK antenna of Microfinance Sans Frontières, a volunteer network supporting the Social Enterprise and Microfinance sector. Previous microfinance work experience includes voluntary roles with Five Talents and Fair Finance.
Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics; a Master’s in Management Sciences and he is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
Sam Mendelson is Knowledge Specialist at Arc Finance, an international NGO consultancy working in Africa, Asia and the Americas to test different business models to scale end-user finance for renewable energy for the Bottom of the Pyramid - including through microfinance - and is project lead on Energy Diaries, a ground-breaking adaptation of Diaries methodology to evolution energy access, expenditure and usage among rural communities.
Sam was also the 2012-14 DFID/Citi Development Fellow, a position which seeks to engage the private financial services sector in best practice in financial inclusion.Since 2009, he has been the co-author of Microfinance Banana Skins, an annual report that ranks the risk perceptions of more than 350 practitioners and close observers of the microfinance scene in 79 countries, and is considered the gold standard survey of industry risk.
Sam has undergraduate degrees in Psychology (B.Sc (Psych.))and Laws (LL.B (Hons) from the University of Western Australia, a Master of Laws (LL.M (PIL)) from University College London, and a pending M.Sc in International Public Policy from the UCL School of Public Policy. He lives in London - mostly.
Paul Barnabas Blyth
Paul is an experienced Impact Investor and microfinance professional. Presently he is Investment Director at Panahpur (the first institution in the UK to invest all of its capital in Impact Investment including in microfinance), General Partner of the Finethic microfinance fund, and consultant to Fundo SA.
Paul has been working in microfinance investment since 2007 launching microplace.com in the USA (an SEC registered broker-dealer specialising in microfinance securities and part of eBay Inc and PayPal), and now as a General Partner of the Finethic microfinance fund which invests ~$200m of primarily pension fund capital in MFIs in 30 countries. In October 2012 he co-published theMicrofinance, impact investing, and pension fund investment policy survey. http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Pension_fund_survey_october_2012.pdf
Prior to 2007, Paul worked as an auditor and management consultant with PwC, and in various commercial finance roles in logistics, advertising, and retail.
Giacomo is Manager in EY’s Financial Services practice, based in London. He provides advisory services to leading financial institutions with focus on complex business change impacting their operations.
Along with traditional client solutions Giacomo is promoting innovation in areas such as sustainability strategy and integrated reporting as well as financial inclusion. With respect to the latter, he contributed to establish EY’s internal network of professionals focused on inclusive finance and emerging low income customers. Purpose of the network is to facilitate the design and provision of EY services to impact investors and institutions, as well as to advocate financial inclusion globally
Sevi is a senior executive, qualified lawyer and an author with more than 15 years of experience driving and measuring complex change initiatives in emerging markets with a focus on financial inclusion, SME development, technology, innovation, women’s economic empowerment. She is currently a Deputy Head at the EBRD's Technical Cooperation Department where she advises and oversees a portfolio of donor funded initiatives in all sectors from their inception to closure.
Prior to her current role, she was Chief Executive Officer of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, where she oversaw the growth and impact of the Foundation, building high-level partnerships, developing innovative solutions and bringing a results focus to its portfolio. She also spent 11 years at the IFC/ World Bank Group in Washington, DC, where she initiated, scaled up and measured the effectiveness of innovative programs, products and business functions from ground up, and advised governments, central banks and private sector around the globe on access to finance for SMEs, financial inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, business regulation and peer to peer learning.
She has published extensively on women’s economic empowerment, financial inclusion, ICT for development and business environment and is a frequent speaker at international conferences. Sevi is a Disruptive Foundation Fellow and served as the co-chair of the Women and Technology subcommittee of the International Business Women’s Leadership Council, set up by Hillary Clinton.
Ama is qualified solicitor of England and Wales. She studied Psychology BSc at Leeds University, before attending the London College of Law to complete her professional exams. Ama trained and worked at the law firm Linklaters LLP in both their London and Tokyo offices advising on cross–border capital market and securities transactions.
Ama is currently Senior Legal counsel at BNP Paribas London in their Corporate Investment Banking Legal department, working on Eurobond financing and debt restructuring transactions with a focus on advising sovereigns, corporates and banks in emerging markets. Being of Ghanaian origin, Ama has a strong interest in alternative finance and has participated in various microfinance projects in Ghana and London. She joined the Financial Inclusion Forum in October 2016.
Machal Karim manages the impact of The CDC Group’s investments in financial services across Africa and South Asia, to ensure the delivery of social return within commercial transactions. She has worked in-market, as well as in the UK and North America over the past 10 years with a focus on access to finance for underserved segments. Particularly, she has worked on financial sector development and the role of private capital to increase sustainable access to finance across various sub-sectors. Currently based in London, Machal has worked with key stakeholders in financial inclusion globally.
Amalia is Head or Programmes at Hand in Hand International, where she oversees a portfolio of projects supporting enterprise development and job creation. She has spent the last 12 years working in international development, specialising in financial inclusion, enterprise development and rural livelihoods. Prior to joining Hand in Hand Amalia worked for Nathan Associates, where she led the organisation’s financial sector-focused work. She previously managed a series of financial inclusion programmes for Plan International UK and spent time at the OECD and in the UK financial sector.
Kate joined CDC Group plc, the UK development finance institution, in 2012 in the Financial Institutions team and covers equity investment and portfolio management of companies across Africa and South Asia, focusing particularly on microfinance and frontier markets. She has a range of financial experience in impact investing, capital raising, corporate finance, and field work in microfinance and social development. Prior to CDC, Kate worked for the UK charity Nesta as an impact investment analyst, at Citigroup in their debt capital markets team, and started her career in Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services team.
Kate is a CA qualified accountant and holds an MPhys from Oxford University.
Michael started his financial inclusion career at Citi Inclusive Finance. He then spent four years as a resident Financial Inclusion Adviser at the Central Bank of Uganda, where he focused on digital finance regulation for what is now one of the most vibrant digital finance markets in the world. After that, he went back to the private sector accompanying the growth of mobile payments and savings start-up from 30,000 to 300,000 customers in rural Uganda.
Michael has also consulted on FinTech and financial inclusion in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including for Central Banks, financial service providers, fund managers and leading development finance institutions such as KFW.
Lotte joined Microfinance Club UK as member in 2012 when she did her MSc. Development Economics at the University of Manchester and specialised in the performance of MFIs. Upon graduation, she joined German MSME finance consultancy firm LFS Advisory. Responsible for the portfolio buildup of AccessHolding’s greenfield banks in Zambia and Rwanda, she had the rewarding opportunity to finance over 200 MSMEs.
Following this invaluable experience, she contributed to Oikocredit International for 3.5 years, as a member of their Credit Management Team. She was part of strategic decision-making, managed improvement initiatives for the lending business and took care of relationships with institutional guarantors. In this context, she travelled extensively to work with local offices and MFIs across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Recently she moved to the UK and joined ESG research company Sustainalytics, serving large asset managers with ESG research to inform their investment decisions beyond financials. In this position, she’d like to connect inclusive finance and impact investing with the sustainable investment space, in order to reach the scale that is needed to deliver on the UN SDGs.