Principal SME Finance Specialist at The International Financial Corporation (IFC) on 2016

The International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it is needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

In 2015, the World Bank Group launched a recruitment mission to attract Sub Saharan African professionals to its work force. The initiative was the first of its kind for the institution and resulted in numerous hires into business areas such as Education, Health, Development Economics, Information Technology Systems, Social Urban/Rural & Resilience and Governance. The World Bank Group continues its commitment to hiring Sub-Saharan African professionals and announces its latest recruitment mission to again attract highly qualified Sub-Saharan African professionals who are looking for an exciting career, where their effort will contribute to the institution’s goal of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.

POSITION : Senior/Principal SME Finance Specialist

Job Summary
The Financial Institutions Group (FIG), one of IFC’s largest industry departments, invests in numerous financial subsectors, strengthens local financial institutions, develops local equity and debt markets and introduces new financing instruments, with a view to developing efficient financial systems that will fuel economic growth in client countries and enhance IFC’s developmental impact.

FIG’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) finance strategy aims to unlock the productive and job creation potential of SMEs in emerging markets by helping client FIs expand financial services for SMEs. Although SMEs are key contributors to employment and growth in these markets, financial institutions can find it difficult to reach them profitably and at scale. As a result there is an estimated trillion dollar SME finance gap in emerging markets, representing a significant market opportunity for FIG’s clients. To improve the reach and performance of their SME finance operations, FIG advises banks and other FIs in the areas of (1) Core SME Banking (business model development, market analysis/segmentation; product design; SME credit/risk management; leveraging IT platforms) (2) SME Customer Management (3) Value Chain Financing (4) Financial Services for Women-Owned SMEs; and (5) Non-Financial Services for SMEs.

FIG’s advisory services, to be delivered as part of an integrated investment and advisory client service function, aims to deliver international best practices to our clients in emerging markets and demonstrate global thought leadership in its core focus areas. To do so it draws on its senior talent pool, institutional experience with hundreds of FI clients around the world, and close relationships with the World Bank’s Finance & Markets Global Practice, donor agencies and other industry standard bearers.

FIG is seeking to recruit a highly-motivated Senior/Principal SME Finance Specialist with significant Advisory experience and knowledge of Investments to lead SME Finance advisory service engagements globally. The Specialists will be based in Africa (Dakar, Nairobi or Johannesburg), EMENA (Istanbul), Latin America and the Caribbean (Bogota or Panama), South Asia (Delhi or Dhaka) or another one of IFC’s regional offices. The Specialist will be part of FIG’s global SME Finance Team and its Regional Advisory Services Team.

The Specialist will lead SME Finance engagements with FIG clients and expand the new client base in the region. He/she should be capable of delivering substantial and measurable results related to SME banking practices in the region and access to banking services for SMEs (including women-owned SMEs). He/she will also support the knowledge and learning agenda for banking in partnership with the global SME Finance team, and will be expected to contribute to tools and standards that are disseminated globally.

The Specialist will have extensive hands-on experience in designing and managing SME Banking programs in emerging markets based on international best practices. He/she will have a deep understanding and practical experience working with key banking operations. Strong knowledge of international standards and practices will be required to provide thought leadership and technical guidance. The Specialist should be able to strategically foresee future trends, forge alliances and actively develop demand-driven advisory projects.

The Principal/Senior SME Finance Specialist will be responsible for the following:

  • Technical Specialist Role. Provide technical expertise to clients on SME advisory projects in the region and selected investment projects through (1) recommending specific actions to clients based on detailed diagnostic/appraisal/workshops that assess all aspects of a bank’s SME organization, operations, systems and processes; (2) designing projects that deliver innovative SME solutions to clients using tools and frameworks that address key client needs; and (3) Provide technical leadership in implementation of proposed recommendations and oversee high-quality and efficient implementation of investment and advisory solutions.
  • Engagement Leadership, Development Impact. Lead the implementation of SME Finance advisory engagements in the region including managing team/specialist inputs, internal and client processes, resources and financial as well as being accountable for IFC M&E and development results, with a focus on consistently high quality delivery; Proactively manage client relationships to understand and respond to their needs, drawing on the full range of FIG and WBG offerings.
  • Management of Global Projects. Contribute actively to projects outside of [the region] either through direct participation in selected engagements or remotely providing technical advice, tools and resources to engagement teams in areas of core expertise. Deploy staff and consultants strategically, manage teams in the region, guiding them through successful execution of the project.
  • Business Development. Deepen client relationships and broaden business opportunities. Proactively engage in business development efforts with banks and NBFIs in [region/country] to generate high value/high impact SME Finance advisory engagements, in close coordination with investment and client relationship managers; Maintain a deep understanding of SME finance trends, actors and opportunities in [the region].
  • Global Product Development. [Lead/Participate in] the [creation/improvement] of [global SME Finance solutions/specify solution], responsible for product [development/enhancement], expertise acquisition, training & dissemination of best practice, and ensuring consistency in the quality of delivery.
  • Internal Capability Strengthening. Help recruit new staff and consultants. Mentor, train and deploy staff to develop strong in-house technical, analytical and client engagement capabilities while maintaining a culture of teamwork, efficiency, respect and excellence.
  • Leveraging Global Networks and Fundraising. Actively engage within the SME Finance Team and with other FIG and WBG Staff and external partners to maintain, develop and share expertise and identify opportunities for collaboration on global SME finance challenges. Contribute to fundraising process for advisory services and help meet fundraising targets.
  • Global Thought Leadership. Showcase best-in-class solutions or global insights through research, articles, speaking engagements, training activities that demonstrate FIG’s thought leadership in the SME Finance space.
  • Knowledge management. Actively contribute to knowledge management of IFC’s Regional and Global Advisory activities, including capture and dissemination of information and knowledge, best practices technical advice to IFC internal and external clients.

Selection Criteria

  • MBA or equivalent, accreditation as CPA, CFA or other finance related areas a plus
  • Minimum of 15 years of senior operational experience in high performing banks and bank consulting services, in both developed and emerging markets
  • Experience selling, designing and managing at least 3 – 4 successful SME Banking programs, gained directly in a senior line role in a bank or with a leading consultancy firm
  • Experience managing transformation projects with banks in emerging markets
  • Strong business development track record within a consulting environment including demonstrated ability to communicate opportunities, identify problems, propose solutions and gain commitment at C-suite / Board level
  • Recognized expertise in retail banking and small business finance, including best practice tools, products and methodologies related to: Core SME Banking (SME strategy & business model development; market analysis/ segmentation; product design; SME credit scoring, ratings & risk management; NPL management & collections; leveraging IT platforms); SME Customer Management; Value Chain Financing; Financial Services for Women-Owned SMEs; and/or Non-Financial Services for SMEs
  • Strong familiarity with international best practices and global trends in the SME banking sector
  • Familiarity with and understanding of origination of investment and structuring transactions
  • Experience working in more than one region
  • Strong familiarity with regional trends and knowledge of the regional market
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently, and credibly represent IFC with clients and stakeholders, including at the senior executive and boardroom level
  • A strategic thinker with an ability to see the “big picture” of country, regional and global private sector development challenges and proactively identify opportunities that can have sizeable reach
  • Strong organizational skills with an ability to work under time pressure, respond to ad-hoc shifts in client priorities, unstructured situations and unexpected events while maintaining order and delivery
  • Ability to identify and implement innovative solutions and challenge the status quo to build the business
  • A keen interest in SME development, development finance and in working in a multicultural environment
  • Strong leadership skills, a team builder with an ability to lead and mentor staff
  • Excellent English written and verbal communications skills; Spanish or French preferred
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively and work across time zones.

Recruitment Timeline
End of July – September 2016 – Review applications and update application status to candidates
August – September 2016 – Contact all shortlisted candidates and conduct interviews in Washington, D.C. and locations in Africa

Note

  • Shortlisted candidates may be contacted as early as August 2016 for interviews which may be conducted in Washington, D.C. or locations in Africa. Interviews will be conducted through September 2016. Based on the availability of interviewers and candidates some interviews may be conducted virtually.
  • Candidates who have previously submitted applications through the Recruitment Drive for African Nationals in 2015 must submit a new application to be considered for opportunities in this year’s campaign. We apologize that we are unable to consider previously submitted applications.