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Virtual Roundtable Series on COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts #8: DFIs Preserving SMEs Liquidity and Solvency

14 May 2020
8 : 00
9 : 15
Mask covering coins

By invitation only

Time after time, we hear that the role of the development finance institutions (DFIs) is critical for financial and economic development, bridging the finance and knowledge gap for the private sector in emerging markets. While DFIs usually have a positive impact on economic growth, their contribution to addressing global challenges becomes even more critical in a crisis situation, such as now, when the COVID-19 crisis has turned the world upside down. Access to working capital in times of pandemic is one of the major challenges for small businesses worldwide, but also a learning opportunity to many, which requires creative strategies and faster policy responses. 

Knowledge, if not updated continuously, loses its relevance. Therefore, the SME Finance Forum's aim is to constantly provide these learning opportunities, identifying good practices, and sharing knowledge among its members, while convening thought leaders, industry practitioners, and experts of the SME finance industry. COVID-19 has created a new opportunity to better serve our network. As a response, we’ve organized weekly virtual sessions on mitigation efforts to provide the best examples of how institutions cope with COVID-19 impact.

Next Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the Forum organizes the eighth virtual roundtable with the participation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Development Bank of Canada (BDC), KfW and its subsidiary DEG of Germany, the CDC Group of the United Kingdom, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Representatives of these institutions will share their strategies, and new frameworks put in place to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic, and how SMEs could benefit from a coordinated response among DFIs by providing better financial solutions.

What you will learn
•    How COVID-19 crisis response is different from previous responses.
•    Strategies, services, and products put in place to cope with the crisis. 
•    How to make sure that SMEs don’t get left out.
•    How important coordination is among the DFI community.





Host and Moderator
Matthew Gamser, CEO, SME Finance Forum

About the speakers
Ines Rocha is the Director for Financial Products, SME Finance & Development Team at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Ines currently designs advisory and investment products to SMEs. The SME F&D Group has a mandate to grow and expand the Small Business Initiative at the EBRD through an integrated toolbox of products including in new business areas that can support SMEs. Ines has circa 20 years of experience in the financial industry and in capital markets. Prior to the current role, Ines was a Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions team covering mainly structured product and capital market investments in bank and non-bank financial institutions across EBRD’s Countries of Operation. Ines joined the EBRD in 2005 integrating the Treasury department where she provided advice on structuring and pricing of derivatives/capital market transactions and local currency across all Countries of Operation. Before EBRD, Ines worked in the Equity Capital Markets division of UBS Investment Bank in London where she covered the EMEA region. Ines has also worked for the Central Bank of Portugal focusing on ECB/Eurosystem matters. A Portuguese national, Ines holds a MSc degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Michel Bergeron is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Business Development of Canada (BDC). Appointed in 2018, he is responsible for designing, developing and communicating BDC’s overall strategic direction and vision for the future. He leads a multidisciplinary team focusing on corporate strategy and initiatives, digital transformation, partnerships and government relations, economic and market research, and innovation. He is also in charge of the implementation of an integrated approach to develop new products and solutions across all BDC’s lines of business. Mr. Bergeron has over 20 years of private, public and parapublic experience, dealing with financial sector issues, strategic planning, digital experience, communication, branding and international trade matters. Before his current position, he was BDC’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs for over 5 years, overseeing branding and advertising, client experience, economic analysis, corporate communications, marketing, public and media relations, research, and digital experience. He joined BDC in 1999 and has held a variety of field and corporate positions during his career with the bank, including Senior Manager, Loans; Director, Corporate Planning; Director, Strategic and Business Solutions; and Vice President of Corporate Relations. Mr. Bergeron began his career in the federal government, where he worked in international trade negotiations for the Department of Finance. He is a board member of Futurpreneur and Jack.org and president of the marketing network of Québec. Michel is the Founding Chair of The Montreal Group, a global forum for development banks focused on micro, small and medium enterprise. Mr. Bergeron holds Law degrees from Laval University and Dalhousie University, and a Master of International Relations degree from Laval University. He also holds the Corporate Director (ICD.D) designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Jessica Espinoza is the Senior Investment Manager and Global Gender Finance Lead at DEG, the German development finance institution (DFI). She has extensive experience sourcing, structuring and executing debt, mezzanine and equity deals in emerging markets with a strong focus on SMEs. She is a SteerCo member of the 2X Challenge, a DFI initiative aiming to mobilize US$ 3 Billion of private capital by 2020 to boost women’s economic empowerment and support women-led SMEs. Jessica also serves as a mentor for high-impact entrepreneurs with the international network Endeavor. Prior to joining DEG, she was a Member of the Management Board at ProCredit Bank Nicaragua and part of the Group Funding team at ProCredit Holding. She managed the Africa Regional Office of MicroFinance Transparency in Ghana and led a flagship program to promote responsible financial inclusion across Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.  

Matthias Adler is the Head of Division for Infrastructure and Financial Sector in West Africa, KfW Entwicklungsbank. Matthias holds a master’s degree in Economics (University of Tübingen). For several years, he has been involved in both project and concept work as principal financial sector economist and microfinance specialist. Since 2014, he has been serving in his current position as Head of Division Infrastructure and financial Sector West Africa. Before he worked as Pro-gram Manager in the West Africa Region (1993-1998), as Sector Economist (1999-2002) and as a macroeconomist for West and East Africa from 2002 to 2006. From 2007 to 2013, he has served as focal point for KfW’s microfinance activities, and the cross-cutting issue of „respon-sible finance”. Furthermore, M. Adler is member of the Board and Chairman of the HR&Governance Committee of Advans SA SICAR, a Luxemburg based investment company with a portfolio of Microfinance Banks in Africa and Asia. The Division Infrastructure and Financial Sector West Africa has a focus, inter alia, on renew-ables energies and MSME finance. Specifically, he oversees a portfolio of two large reform partnership programs in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, clean energy generation projects, regional transmission lines and works on mainstreaming green finance in the West Africa region.

Wasim Tahir is the CDC Group's Financial Institutions Sector Strategist. Wasim is responsible for developing the investment and development strategy of their second largest sector by AuM. Geographic scope covers Africa and South Asia; product scope covers Equity, Debt, Guarantees and Funds. Wasim's topic expertise spans capital markets, asset management, transaction banking, retail banking, consumer finance, payments and insurance. His functional expertise includes strategy, business development, market sizing, risk, regulatory reform, and organisational design. Wasim gained his experience through roles at Credit Suisse and Lloyds Banking Group, and through 20+ projects with Oliver Wyman and Boston Consulting Group. Wasim graduated from the University of Oxford and is a CFA® charterholder.

Jeroen Harteveld is the Portfolio Manager for MASSIF, the financial inclusion fund that FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MASSIF has a committed portfolio of over USD 550 million and is active in 40 different countries. Jeroen has been working at FMO for over 15 years. In this timeframe he worked as an Investment Officer in FMO’s Financial Institutions department. Prior, Jeroen worked at various other departments, including, Infrastructure, Manufacturing & Services and the Emerging Markets Fund. He is a Chartered Controller and has a master as well as an executive master in Finance & Control from Nyenrode Business University (The Netherlands). Jeroen wrote his thesis on managing distressed asset portfolios in emerging markets.


Martin Holtmann is the Manager of Digital Finance & Microfinance at IFC. Martin started in banking with Deutsche Bank in Buenos Aires. As Project Manager and Managing Director, he spent twelve years with IPC, an access to finance and bank management consulting firm. From 1995 until 2001 he was the resident Manager of the EBRD Russia Small Business Fund. Prior to joining IFC, Martin was Lead Financial Specialist at CGAP, where he managed the Technology Team and also headed the “Retail Advisory Service”. As a faculty member of the Boulder Microfinance Training Program since 1996, Martin has helped to train more than 4000 banking executives and microfinance professionals. Martin is a graduate of the L.B. Pearson UWC in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and holds Master’s degrees from Trier University (Business Economics) and Harvard University (Public Administration).